Feeds

Microsoft targets Google's mobile dream with Bing

Internalize the vision

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Microsoft is building Bing with a view towards beating Google in an area its internet rival has highlighted as ripe for massive growth: mobile search.

One of the chief architects behind Microsoft's deal to take over Yahoo!'s search has said Bing is being built to present results suited to mobile phones.

Charles Songhurst, Microsoft's general manager for corporate strategy, told the Jeffries Annual Technology Conference in New York, New York that Microsoft had "internalized a lot of what Google has been saying" in recent years on mobile search being worth more than PC-based search.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt in 2007 predicted the ubiquity of mobile devices meant Google's revenue from mobile search would eclipse search on a PC in years, not decades. The enabler would be growth in more sophisticated and affordable smart phones.

Songhurst pointed out that Bing returns slightly fewer results per search but slightly more data per result, with results being location - and geo-aware.

The thinking seems to be to make mobile search suited to devices whose screen and keys limit the amount of scrolling and clicking, while serving shoppers on the go.

Songhurst said Bing could carve out a "good" 10 and 20 per cent of market share simply on differentiation, by delivering focused search results for individual markets and people. He noted the search market is more differentiated and less homogeneous "than we thought."

According to Songhurst, marketing will make the difference in helping Bing - combined with Yahoo! - increase their market share against Google. He said while Bing is available internationally, the big difference is Microsoft hasn't made an international marketing push.

Microsoft has committed to spend $100m on marketing for Bing, and the US has already seen TV ads promoting Microsoft's search engine. Songhurst indicated, however, that Microsoft would not spend more money on advertising internationally until it's learned its lessons in the domestic market of the US. Microsoft wants to find out what types of consumers become loyal and who churn back to other search engines.

Also, he noted Microsoft wants to get the search algorithms right for each market before promoting Bing locally. A key component of the Microsoft deal to buy Yahoo! is that Bing drives search in the markets served by Yahoo! during the next 10 years, which will give Microsoft time to build and tune the Bing algorithms to improve searches and returns.

Bootnote

European antitrust regulators are reported to have asked Microsoft and Yahoo! for more information about the search-engine deal Songhurst was involved in negotiating. Reuters reported the European Union inquiry was more explorative than investigative. The move comes after US regulators also requested more information. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.