7 years ago when Steve Ballmer launched Bing, no one could have imagined that the web search engine from Microsoft would rise to the challenge to give some of the more established search engines like Google and Yahoo a run for their money.
Just 7 years ago, thinking that Bing would be one of the top search engines in the world was thinking too much. Fast forward into the future, the once regarded underdog has managed to rise through the ranks, and cause jitters in the search engine sphere by superseding the expectations of critics.
With a staggering statistic of 21% of global search engine market share, it’s undeniable that Bing has experienced an astronomical and unparalleled growth within a very short time span; a turn of event that’s making Google rethink its 18-year dominance in the market.
As Google takes it easy in converting web users to its side, Bing has not been taking any chances; limiting users’ choice by all means possible with essential services and one-off deals that are too attractive to let go.
That being said, here are some of the “lock and key” approaches employed by Microsoft that have kept web surfers hooked on Bing- with or without their knowledge.
Windows Phone users use Bing
The rising usage of Bing is no surprise considering that Microsoft is also a leader in the phone industry. With this leverage comes the ability to dictate a huge market share in the search engine realm, and Microsoft has been taking full advantage of this. The recent incident of Microsoft disabling the option to change search engine type on Windows phones settings is a perfect example of how the company has rooted Windows users into adopting the only available option; Bing. Windows phone users with a fetish for Google have been left with no choice but to opt for standalone apps offering a different option to satisfy their needs.
On the contrary, other flagship brands hailing the Android OS and iOS willingly offer users the option to choose whatever search engine type they prefer.
Cortana is predominantly Bing
Whether it is purely business, a premeditated plot to bog down Google or a totally factual argument; Microsoft has recently come out to denounce continuity of other search engines with its hyped Cortana program. Microsoft’s argument, suspiciously legit, concludes that other search engines reduce the efficiency of Cortana, hence, the need to wire up the program with Bing as the defacto search engine. Microsoft stated that this is probably the only way they can assure users complete effectiveness of the program, and who can question this decision when they are the owners of the platform.
HackerRank has teamed up with Bing
For a programmer, there is no question that Bing is the best thing that ever happened. Going by the partnership that Microsoft Bing has with HackerRank, programmers have an easy time solving difficult problems related to the niche. Added benefits offered by the search engine including an ability to tweak codes to ones desire in real time makes Bing even more appealing. Minimal limitations associated with Bing for this function has eventually led to Q&A sites like Stackoverflow and Stackexchange for programmers being reduced to defunct solutions to coding problems.
Siri’s default search engine is Bing
If you are a major fan of Apple, but detest Bing, this news may totally dampen your spirit. All Apple’s devices operating with iOS 7 and above solely rely on Bing to administer digital personal assistant services on Siri. Fortunately, Siri is rarely a letdown. The program has been feted for its ability to accomplish an endless list of tasks with a simple voice command, and the only thing you need to do is ask. With the interactive approach offered by Siri, Bing’s usage has definitely gotten a necessary shot in the arm in the search engine rankings.
Apple’s Spotlight Search is powered by Bing
Silently, Apple has been kicking out Google from its services since the love-hate relationship between the two started brewing in 2013. It all begun with the Apple Spotlight Search- being powered by Bing- on iPhones, iPads and iPods offering users the ability to conduct searches on these devices. The prolonged feud only left Microsoft and Apple with adequate time to indulge in trysts that escalated into meaningful relationships. In 2015, Bing’s mandate was further extended beyond the boundaries of making regular searches on these devices to carrying out in-depth searches on the web as well. And do not be fooled, although Apple dropped the “Spotlight Search” name for just “Search” on its devices, the status quo with Bing still lingers.
Kindle fire uses Bing for default browsing
In another quest for supremacy, Microsoft has partnered with Amazon making Bing the default search engine for the latest Kindle tablets- an event that has sparked massive public outrage. Once more, Google diehards have nothing else to do but to download standalone apps on the device to use the search engine on other browser types.
Facebook search depend on Bing’s APIs
Facebook is probably one of the few places where the public are up in arms about using Bing. Most people might not be aware but for the longest time whenever they searched the web using Facebook’s search bar they were actually using Bing. This is because all the results provided were derived from Microsoft Bing API (Application Program Interface). What is for sure is that the millions of Facebook users made up the large percent of Bing users at one point or another while on the platform.
Xbox Search favors Bing
You can either use the Kinect voice commands or a controller to search for relevant material on Xbox. Sadly, voice command search has been restricted to the U.S, Canada and United Kingdom at the moment due to well known reasons. Either way, if you are interested in searching for games, movies, songs or even apps, the Xbox Bing search is responsible for doing this within select locations where the service exists.
Another compelling gesture driving web users into using Bing is the company’s rewards program. Currently, this provision is only available in limited jurisdictions, more so the US, nonetheless, it has served as a nifty tactic in propelling the search engine into greater heights. Bing’s reward program entitles web users to 1 Bing Reward for every search they make, and 1000 credits eventually sum up to a $10 card, which is completely worth it for a “free” offer.
Internet Explorer and Edge (IE and E)
So long as you use Windows OS on your computer, it is highly likely that you have used Bing at some point in time. Both the previous and latest Windows browser use Bing as the default search engine meaning you cannot totally avoid the program.
Bing is a darling for web users who want quality content. Google might have the upper hand in providing numerous search results, but in essence Bing holds all the aces in terms of offering top quality search results. And although a substantial number of people might argue that some of the market strategies used by Bing are skewed and worthy of scrutiny, it is quite clear that these Aggressive Business tactics are not new in any market competition.