Google Search On Apple iPad2Bing has admitted it doesn’t expect to challenge Google for the top spot in search any time soon. Microsoft’s Director of Search, Stefan Weitz, appeared at the Web Summit conference in Ireland this week, where he spoke openly about the company’s position in the industry.
Despite steady growth in the search sphere Bing users are still a small fraction compared to the world’s number one search engine, Google. The gap only increases outside the US and according to Weitz Microsoft is under no illusions about its place in the industry.

Google, the undisputed champ

Bing currently takes 30 percent of the market share – a figure which accounts for both Bing.com and Yahoo, which gets its organic results from Bing. This leaves Google with 67.3 percent of the remaining market and the US giant is the number one search engine in every country across the world, except five.
Meanwhile, Bing’s market share has been gradually increasing in recent years. The problem for Microsoft is this growth has taken share away from its current partner Yahoo, rather than Google. Which leaves Bing in an impossible position when it comes to making a genuine challenge for the top spot in search – a point Weitz isn’t afraid to admit.

Bing is not about to surrender

The comments made by Stefan Weitz may seem like a verbal waving of the white flag, but don’t mistake his words as a forfeit to Google. The Director of Search is well aware that Bing poses no serious threat to Google’s hold on the search industry as it stands. But the people at Bing know change is always on the horizon when it comes to internet technologies.
“It’s unlikely we’re going to take share in [the current search] space,” explains Weitz. “For pure keyword search, we’re around 30 percent in the US, not so much in Europe. But search in different areas of life? That mix is still to be determined. I’m committed to making sure we have our fair share of search in the future,” he confirms.

Redefining search

So Stefan Weitz is hardly throwing in the towel and you can expect to see Microsoft invest heavily in the integration of search into our daily lives. It won’t be easy though with Apple and Google also at the forefront of vital technologies like voice recognition and the majority of devices that support the feature.
However, Microsoft’s new virtual assistant and predictive search service – named Cortana – has already landed. And there are rumours that the feature could even replace Bing search on Windows phones and even PCs. There’s also talk of Spanish and Italian support and the Siri rival made a name for itself in the summer when it correctly predicted the outcome of every match in the
Brazil 2014 World Cup.

So it’s a good start for Microsoft and its new voice recognition platform, but Stefan Weitz and co. will have their work cut out if they can cement a place in the future of search and provide genuine competition to Google.