Microsoft Bing Takes More Search Baby Steps

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Comscore hasn't yet released its August search market data, but JPMorgan referenced it in a Monday research note. Bing had an 8.9 percent share of the U.S. search market in July, and while August's 0.4 percent uptick is hardly earth-shattering, Microsoft can still say that Bing has gained market share in every month since its release in June.

Microsoft is sparing no expense to portray today's search engines as broken and in need of fixing. It's doing this by making the case that Web users suffer from "search overload" -- the deluge of unrelated results that are often returned with keyword searches -- and is also taking shots at Google's keyword-based search technology.

Bing is still taking baby steps, but there are signs that its progress could be accelerating. Earlier this month, Nielsen released data that shows Bing search volume grew 22.1 percent in August, making it the fastest growing U.S. search engine. Microsoft also recently unveiled Bing Visual Search, which lets users view search results as rows of images instead of lists of links.

Microsoft executives have vowed to release two major updates to Bing every year to keep its accuracy sharp. Microsoft is expected to release Bing 2.0 soon, and at its annual company meeting in early September, employees were given a sneak preview of Bing 2.0's new features.

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Bing 2.0 was apparently so impressive that some employees were moved to express their admiration through Twitter messages, which were subsequently deleted. If Microsoft can duplicate this adulation outside the ranks of Koolaid drinkers, Bing could start making greater strides than it has been.