Microsoft Will Improve its Search Apps to Compete With Google
Google is the dominant search engine in the United States and Europe, and its competitors know this. Instead of trying to compete in the exact same arena, Microsoft has decided to diversify its products and services in order to deliver more value to its users.
At a recent Web Summit Conference held in Dublin on November 4, 2014, Stefan Weitz, Microsoft’s Director of Search, acknowledged how powerful Google is in terms of pure search. He also admitted that the Microsoft-owned Bing search engine probably cannot compete with Google in a full-on face-off. Instead, Bing will be focusing on integrating search into Microsoft’s products.
“The question is, where is search really going? It’s unlikely we’re going to take share in [the pure search] space, but in machine learning, natural language search…and how we can make search more part of living?” Weitz said, according to a report that appeared in The Register.
Weitz hinted that Microsoft is less interested in seeing Bing as a lone search engine, although “that’s still important.” Instead, they are more interested in “weav[ing] the tech” into everyday tasks that people are already performing.
He brought up the company’s multilingual search capabilities as an example. Users can search in a language like Arabic and have results returned from English language sites, translated into Arabic.
Weitz also claimed that Bing has a better image search feature than Google. Plus, their image search results are more diversified, since Bing also gets results from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Weitz hopes that by integrating Bing’s search capabilities into different Microsoft applications, the company will acquire a bigger percentage of the core search market in the coming years. According to comScore’s September 2014 U.S. Search Engine Rankings report, over two-thirds of the total explicit core search market share belongs to Google (67.3%), trailed by Bing.com and Yahoo with a combined 29.4% search market share.
Microsoft and Yahoo have an even smaller slice of the pie in Europe. Weitz, nevertheless, remains undaunted. “But search in different areas of life? That mix is to be determined,” he said. “I’m committed to making sure we have our fair share of search in the future.”
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