Bing Gets Dinged, But The Market-Share Game's Far From Over


The drop in Bing's search engine market share doesn't mean that Microsoft should close up shop and throw in the towel, of course. Google, after all, didn't become the ubiquitous entity that it has become in just a few short months. Microsoft, somewhat ironically, is in as good a position as anyone to understand this.

Microsoft Internet Explorer has been the dominant Web browser since driving out Netscape over 10 years ago. But for several years now, Internet Explorer has been competing against Mozilla's Firefox Web browser.

Firefox currently has the second biggest share of the Web browser market with about 22 percent, according to September numbers from Net Applications' Market Share report. Internet Explorer, on the other hand, claims slightly more than 60 percent of the Web browser market.

Version 1.0 of the Firefox Web browser was rolled out in November 2004 and has been competing against Internet Explorer for almost five years. The fact that the open-source browser has even 22 percent of the market is seen as somewhat of a victory.

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Microsoft's Bing went live on June 3 and is entering its fourth month of competition against Google. In September, Bing lost about 1 percent of market share, with Stat Counter reporting that in the U.S. Microsoft's search engine owned 8.51 percent of the search engine market, down from 9.64 percent in August. Google, meanwhile, saw its share increase to 80.08 percent in September from 77.83 percent in August.

While things do change quickly on the Web, it may be a little too early to consider Bing becoming dead in the water. The huge advertising campaign that Microsoft instituted to promote its decision engine probably accounts for that fact that Bing is even close to 9 percent of the search engine market.

But the fact that Bing lost market share over a month shouldn't be too much of a concern. After all, Microsoft has a perfect template in Firefox to refer to when figuring out how to compete with an established giant in any field.