Microsoft has a new idea for going forward on a nearly impossible mission. Determined to challenge the all-powerful Google for dominance in the internet search market, the software giant has decided to add a large dose of entertainment to Bing, its own struggling search engine.
The idea is to add a universal remote control to the search function, said Yusuf Mehdi, a vice president at the firm, during a presentation in Bellevue, California, on Monday.
Bing will now be enriched with the possibility of listening to music, playing video games or watching TV series on the welcome page.
Owners of Zune, Microsoft’s iPod rival (available in the US), can also buy music directly on Bing. For games and TV shows, the company has drawn from its own stock of games and signed deals with big names like CBS, Viacom and Hulu. That lets users on Bing watch more than 15,000 TV series, or 20,000 episodes, online.
Also, social networks
These additions, currently available on the US version of Bing (also accessible from France), are a clear attempt to outstrip Google. In one year of existence, Bing has started to eat away at Google’s market share. According to Comscore in May 2010, Bing had 12 percent of the US market versus Google’s 63 percent.
“We know there’s more we can do,” says Mehdi, on the official Bing blog
. Concurrently, Microsoft has increased links with social networks in order to further outdo Google. It added Twitter and Facebook real-time feeds to search results in early June. And it also signed up the geolocation network Foursquare
, Silicon Valley’s current darling, to offer "badges" to people who are using Bing Maps for the World Cup.