Microsoft’s search engine hopes to expand its user base as more computers upgrade to Windows 10.
On June 1, 2009, Microsoft launched its Bing search engine. A project promoted by the then CEO of the company, Steve Ballmer, with which Redmond sought to challenge the leadership of Google in the multi-million dollar business of Internet advertising.
“We have doubled our business in Europe growing even above Google.”
Almost ten years later, Google is still the king, but Bing has managed to position itself as the main alternative to its Chrome browser in almost every country. In the United States, its main market, they have a share of 33% with more than 5,000 million monthly searches.
In Europe, the global share of Bing is 9%, although this figure increases in the main markets. Thus, in the United Kingdom it has 25% of all searches, 15% in France, 13% in Germany and 9% in Spain.
“We have doubled our business in Europe, growing even more than Google,” says Axel Steinman, global vice president of Bing Ads, to EXPANSION. Of Argentine origin, Steinman has been working in the technology for 25 years. A privileged witness of the evolution of a company that started marketing software licenses and today is on its way to becoming one of the giants of cloud computing.
Behind this growth is the expansion of its Windows 10 operating system, available since July 2015. As more and more computers upgrade to the latest version of the software, which has the Edge browser pre-installed, the user base of Bing.
“90% of Windows 10 users do not change the Bing search engine to Google.”
“Contrary to what happened with Explorer, 90% of Windows 10 users do not change Bing search engine to Google,” says Steinman, who adds: “The use of Bing in Windows 10 is 40% higher than in previous versions.”
In addition, the company has reason to be optimistic as the penetration of the latest version of its operating system has reached 70% of devices in the market, which still have a wide margin of growth.
None of this happens however in the mobile, where Google has an almost absolute domain thanks to its Android operating system. According to Microsoft data, 70% of searches in Bing are made through the PC.
The manager says that this increase in the audience of the search engine is attracting more companies, which increasingly choose to invest part of their budgets in Bing. “Our clicks are more valuable and have better conversion rates than Google’s,” says Steinman. The reason? “They are cheaper clicks, because our marketplace is smaller, so the return on investment for the advertiser is much higher,” he says.
Although the distance between the two companies is abysmal, Microsoft is confident that it will narrow more and more this difference thanks to its commitment to artificial intelligence. Steinman draws a future in which connected devices will play a leading role in the daily life of millions of people.
“There will be an explosion of smart devices and there will not be a single company that dominates all categories,” he says. And he gives the example of his digital assistant Cortana, the “only multiplatform in the world”.
An example is the interconnection between Alexa, the Amazon assistant, and Cortana in the Echo devices of the e-commerce giant.