Microsoft's new Bing search engine has eked out a slight gain in market share, according to statistics released Wednesday, but it has a long way to go before it catches up with industry leader Google.
Microsoft had 8.23 percent market share in June " the first month its Bing online search engine was available, according to StatCounter Global Stats, a Web site traffic analysis firm. That put Bing not far behind Yahoo's 11.04 percent market share but far behind Google's 78.48 percent.
Microsoft, which is trying to grow its online services business against Google, had a 7.21 percent share of the search market in April with its MSN Search and Live Search properties, according to StatCounter. Google's market share in April was 79.07 percent " meaning its share dropped slightly between April and June.
"At first sight, a 1 percent increase in market share does not appear to be a huge return on the investment Microsoft has made in Bing, but the underlying trend appears positive," said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter's CEO, in a statement. "Steady if not spectacular might be the best way to describe performance to date."
Microsoft, for example, has been running a series of television advertisements that show zombielike people spouting nonsensical facts and data as a result of search overload " an effort to portray Bing as providing Web surfers with more of the information they are looking for.
Initially the market share of all Microsoft's search properties (Bing, Live Search and MSN Search combined) increased to 9.21 percent right after Bing debuted June 1, dropped back the next two weeks, then grew to 8.45 percent during the period of June 22 to 28, leading to the overall 8.23 percent market share for the month, according to Dublin, Ireland-based StatCounter.
The market-share numbers are based on an analysis of 1.3 billion search engine referring clicks worldwide (336 million from the U.S.) collected from StatCounter's network of 3 million Web sites.