Microsoft has made it plain that in no way is Bing a planned money-sink for the company. Bing, according to Microsoft, is out to grab market share, and “grow into profitability.”
Bing has some 10.7% market share of the global search market, putting it in third place. It remains a decided also-ran to Google. Once the search deal with Yahoo is complete, Bing will have control of nearly 30% of the market.
This will for the first time in recent memory create a duopoly in search, where a benevolent dictator has reigned these past years.
The goal is to capture that 30%, and then use the power to grow their advertising base. More advertisers, more money. More revenue, less losses. Bing is a business, and Microsoft expects it to become profitable in short order. “We have confidence we can do that,” said Yusuf Mehdi, a Microsoft employee.
Bing also has more than one trick up their sleeve. They have a forthcoming deal with HP which should dramatically help them grow their market share. Also, the HP deal will help bring in first users, meaning that people that are purchasing their first computer will use Bing and not Google, removing the entrenchment advantage that Google has long enjoyed.
Whatever is ahead, Bing is backed by billions and Ballmer. That alone makes it a serious competitor.