Bing is now profitable. Microsoft's search engine has struggled to generate profits since it's introduction in 2009, but the company reported its FY16 Q1 earnings on Thursday revealing that search accounted for over $1 billion.
CFO Amy Hood said during the earnings conference call, "Search revenue increased to more than $1 billion this quarter and we passed an important milestone as our search business reached profitability."
She later added, "In search, we expect Bing's strong trajectory to continue, remaining profitable for the remainder of the year."
CEO Satya Nadella noted that Bing's share is up to 20.7% in the U.S. with ad revenue growing 29% worldwide, helped by Windows 10 users asking Cortana over a billion questions. He later said, "I'm very, very excited obviously about what's happening with Bing."
Microsoft beat reporter Mary Jo Foley explains at ZDnet, "Microsoft has been working to streamline its search and advertising business business for months. Earlier this year, the company handed off its display advertising business (and possibly 1,000-plus of its employees working in that business) to AOL. The company also opted to get out of the map-data-collection business and sold off those assets and about 100 employees to Uber; its new strategy is to license/display other companies' mapping data."
Meanwhile, Bing has been frequently upping its game in terms of ad offerings. Recent months have seen changes to the Bing Merchant Center, improvements to Accounts & Billing, the launch of a new Marketplace Trends visualization tool, new automation features for Bing Ads, the announcement of the Bing Ads Keyword Planner, improvements to conversion tracking, and new remarketing capabilities.
Image via Chandler Dances on Things