It’s been a quarter now since Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) relaunched its search engine as Bing — and so far Microsoft has been able to boost its share of the search market by 1.3 percentage points, according to comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) (via several analyst reports). Sounds good? Depends on how you look at the figures. On one hand, Microsoft had only 8 percent of the search market prior to Bing’s launch — a number that had been on the decline; Microsoft also has managed to maintain Bing’s early growth rate — it has been consistently increasing its market share by between 0.4 and 0.5 percentage points each month since launch.
But Microsoft is also spending as much as $100 million to market its search engine and likely more to make its search engine the default on new Dell and HP PCs. And, indeed, some analysts had expected that with that much spending (and lots of positive press) Microsoft would get 10 percent of the search market in its first month. Even more troubling: Much of Bing’s gains seems to have come at the expense of Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), which will have its search market share combined with Bing if the two companies’ ad partnership gets approved. Yahoo has seen its market share fall by 0.8 percentage points over the last three months; By contrast, Google’s share has fallen by 0.4 percentage points.