Now Microsoft Can Launch Its True Bing Assault Against Google

    June 5, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

At E3, Microsoft announced, among other things, that Internet Explorer is coming to the Xbox 360 this fall. That means that tons of Xbox users will have easy access to browsing the entire web right from their favorite gaming console. It also means that Microsoft will have an opportunity to significantly increase searches on Bing.

Do you think this will get more people searching with Bing? Let us know in the comments.

Granted, there is a paywall element at play. Microsoft will require users to have an Xbox Live Gold account to use IE. Still, it’s a chance for the company to push its browser, and perhaps its search engine in front of a hard core (as well as casual) gaming base more than ever.

Last year, Bing came to the console in very limited fashion. Microsoft launched Bing Voice Search, enabling users to find content across Netflix, Hulu Plus, Comcast Xfinity on Demand ,HBO Go, Zune, and other programs on Xbox Live. This was part of the company’s “future of TV” announcement. Is Bing the future of TV?

And no, we’re not talking about product placement in television shows, of which there is plenty.

I’ve long held the belief that Xbox would be Microsoft’s greatest weapon for increasing its share of the search market. Xbox is huge, and Microsoft could reach people in a place where Google has so far struggled: the living room. While Google tries to figure out Google TV, Microsoft already has a hugely successful set-top box, if you will.

Speaking of Bing Voice Search on Xbox, Microsoft announced it’s expanding this feature into 12 additional markets (that’s added brand exposure for Bing if nothing else): Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland.

“Soon users in 15 countries speaking 7 languages will be able to get full voice search support,” Bing said in a blog post. “In addition, in some countries and languages, you will be able to search for content genres such as comedy, drama and action, and also will be able to use your voice to search user generated content on YouTube.”

Microsoft isn’t playing Bing up too much in the IE news, but as you can see in the image above, it appeared in the demo. You can watch the whole event here, courtesy of Gamespot:

How much do people want to search the web on a gaming console though? Well, perhaps more than before. As previously reported, IE on Xbox will support Kinect and SmartGlass, so users don’t have to use a game controller to operate it.

If Microsoft can gain more momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets, there’s no reason that Bing can’t make a bigger dent in Google’s share of the search market. Of course, that won’t do much to help Microsoft’s case for Google’s so-called “anti-competitive” business practices.

Some might consider Microsoft to have the competitive edge when it comes to social search, for that matter, given that Bing is now tightly integrated with Facebook. The new, more social Bing is available to everyone in the U.S. as of last week. If people find value in their social connections for search, they’re most likely going to get more out of Bing than Google in that regard, as Google doesn’t have the kind of Facebook (or Twitter) data Bing does, relying more on Google+ and other public data.

Of course, not everyone finds social to always be that great of an indicator of relevancy.

“With sidebar, Bing brings together the best of the web, with what experts and your friends know, giving you the confidence to act,” said Bing VP Derrick Connell, when unveiling the new Bing. “This new way to search lets you share, discover, and interact with friends like you do in real life. If you’re on the go, you’ll notice we’ve optimized the layout and placement of the social results on the mobile device for smaller screen sizes and for touch input, so the user experience will be different than what people see on a PC.”

The big screen will add a new element to the equation. As Microsoft continues to experiment with the cross-section of search and social media , using its So.cl social network as a testing ground, perhaps they’ll be able to find better ways to tap into that in the living room. So.cl already has a video chat Hangout-like feature.

“You may not always see friends you expect to show up for a number of reasons,” Connell notes of Bing’s social features. “Bing uses public Facebook information and content you’ve given Bing permission to use, such as friends’ photos on Facebook. We won’t match friends based on other Facebook content such as status updates or check-ins. Bing also respects you and your friends’ privacy settings so you won’t see friends who have opted out of Facebook instant personalization or blocked the Bing app.”

Assuming that Microsoft has learned its lesson from its own antitrust regulation of the past, we can probably expect an option for users to switch their default search engine when IE hits Xbox. The question is, how many will bother to do so. It at least gives Microsoft the opportunity to get users to try Bing (and ultimately serve them ads).

Do you have an Xbox 360? Will you be searching with Bing? Let us know.

  • XboxFTW

    Why do you have switch the default IE to other search engine? XBox is their own hardware. Others can provide their own browser by way of apps, but that would be nasty to bother where you already have a well integrated browser.

  • mike

    One thing I don’t get about it is the fact you have to pay Microsoft for a Live Gold account which to me is bad business because the 50% around 15 million Xbox users who don’t play games On-line do not get any of these features making the Xbox just a gaming console. you can by media players that do all the netflix internet stuff for a one off payment equalling less than a years Gold subscription

    so to conclude Microsoft lose 15 million potential users of its on-line services to media players and more painful for them PS3

    • XboxFTW

      Last time I check 67M xbox are installed in homes with 40M Live Gold members. To think that only 15M got the added features is unfounded. Evolving xbox into a total package living room entertainment is a good business that opens a lot for developers and as well as advertisers.

  • http://tech-sharing.com/ Krishna

    While Microsoft will surely have a surge in the growth of Bing, looking at the percentage of users using Google, and how Google has monopolized search using/connecting all known essentials for webmasters and users, Google is bound to have the current status for some more years, like it or not! However, if Microsoft took search seriously before Google took over, as they are doing now, the picture would have been different now.

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    I’m not seeing a big advantage to being able to perform searches through a gaming console.

    Besides, code bloat in games adds more bling to the games but a bloated browser, why?

    • Conran

      As we have seen from the rise in internet enabled TV – which is still so limited in functionality and accessible content – surfing through a gaming console with complete freedom is an ideal that many people have been hoping for.

      As an adult affiliate and writer, this is a great opportunity for webmasters to reach a larger audience. Remember, this is also a predominantly male audience, in the age range of 18 – 40.

      It effectively adds the internet to millions of rooms, where access was previously limited. This is great news for those of us who sell on-line, and especially for those who sell predominantly to males aged 18-40! lol

  • mark

    Bing’s searches are terrible and unfortunately Google gets worse by the month. Wish there was a real search engine for business- primarily in manufacturing. And please dont say globaspec or thomas

  • http://phrid.blogse.nl ohrid

    Yes i think more users will use Bing, but i think it will go slow, most people have both xbox and pc and will therefore not use xbox all the time.

  • http://ohrid.blogse.nl ohrid

    yes they will use it more, except not too much and not so fast as microsoft hopes it, i guess all the people with the xbox will also have an pc, so for internet they will use most of the time the pc .

  • http://dellsdeals.com db

    Bing’s interface is elegant, intuitive and creative. Information, in a number of areas, is simplified and distilled until it’s easier to use. They will gain market share, I believe.

  • http://www.shalusharma.com Shalu Sharma

    I hope they do, its good for competition between the search engines and also good for webmasters who are sick of the drama that goes on every few months.

  • http://heartinkstone.pixnet.net/blog heartinkstone

    perfect blog in Taiwan

  • Don

    If i wanted to surf the internet i would just use my computer and i wouldnt use internet explorer

  • http://www.papadanart.com Dan Fussell

    It seems to me that the way to introduce and get acceptance of a new product is not to only offer it to the “Gold” membership. You introduce it to everyone and make it so routine that people think they can not do without it.

  • http://www.alda-architects.com Alan

    It is bound to make some difference, however I think the greatest danger to Google is Google itself. They have to lose market share, and at present there seems to be growing disquiet on a number of fronts from privacy to constantly changing their modus operandi. This is how the mighty fall, first a trickle.

  • http://www.brasillovers.com.br Acompanhantes de Brasilia

    I hope to improve the features of IE primarily to facilitate the developer’s life. 😉

  • http://www.dewaldthuysamen.com Dewaldt Huysamen

    Point is in South Africa more than 94% of people uses Google as a search engine, meaning more than 90% of the internet traffic is generated from a Google search.

  • http://www.athleticlothing.com Athletic Clothing

    “We are Online Shopping Store and we Provide Athletic clothes and apparel from best sportswear manufacturers” we now change our strategy of SEO we are now concentrating on Bing after Google’s aggressive act. They are really very scared of Bing that’s why they launch Penguin Algo. And yes It will be very huge hit of bing! – Thumbs up for article thanks :)

  • http://www.bespecial.ro Horace

    I have PC and Xbox, for internet i will definitely use PC… but maybe Xbox sometime. Maybe, in the future, Google will do a similar thing with other gaming consoles :)

  • http://www.gateway-african-safaris.com Christian

    I really hope this works for Bing, as Google has become to arrogant and unpredictable.

  • John Cook, Ph.D.

    Microsoft blew it big time with Bing when they put it out as pushware. Like a virus in malware, a hoard of freeware packages delivered the Bing toolbar–whether you wanted it or not, it was pushed onto your machine, and once in place, that evil creation was impossible to remove!

    Thousands of people despised Bing and Microsoft for that. So, NO, Bing has no future!

    What was wrong with Microsoft? Di9d their advertising managers actually think they could drop Bing like malware or a virus to spoil the functionality and appearance of a persons computer and actually gain points?

    Absolutely NOT! Personal computers are just that… PERSONAL! We spend hours getting the custom desktop look we want, we add Rainmeter and floating 3D icons, and spend weeks in Photoshop creating just the perfect background, and that big bully Microsoft comes along when we aren’t looking and sticks a turd in our lunch box. They they demand we like it because we can’t remove that awful turd.

    So NO, ABSOLUTELY NO! Microsoft thinks they can push us around… HA! Not a chance. Most of us got rid of that smelly Bing turd and we won’t be putting it back for a long time and it will take a LOT of apologies to get us to even consider it.

    Companies who slide their unwanted shit into our personal space and them make it tough to get rid of etch a very pronounced and personal mark onto our consciousness–a mark that hurt, and will be remembered–and avoided–for a very long time…

    Microsoft… how dumb can you possibly be?

  • Watching the Wheels

    I’m past caring. I refuse to waste my time on the incessant, and vague cyberhoops that the power happy maladjusted geeks want me to jump through.

    I’m learning to hate the entirety of computerland.


    Want my money?
    Earn it.

    Seems to me that with each new dubious advance, it’s the tail wagging the dog, more and more.

    Once upon a time it was THE CUSTOMER who was serviced in the hopes of them deciding to do business with an entity. We need to return to that.

  • JC

    When do we get over the greed issue? I don’t get it? Why do Americans and some other idiots think that 50 to 500 billion Gross a year ISN’T enough and still attempt to find methods of getting more?

    I have a business that pays me only $40,000 a year. I8 could easily expand and put on an additional product, just as easily as I could produce six, seven, eight, nine or more children.

    No, I won’t attempt to have more kids any more than I will be tempted to make $100,000 each year.

    Why? because I was a very fortunate child to have been gifted a very special brain. I am unusually intelligent. While many of you would think “HA! If you are so smart, why aren’t you rich?” But that is just the point and the reason I have just one child. I do not compete. I find no future in the constant struggle to be better than the next person, or to have formed the opinion that I will never be good enough until I am the wealthiest.

    On the contrary, I feel quite comfortable as I am. I am not threatened because another has more money, a bigger car, a larger television, or a more needy or fragile self opinion.

    The world needs to get off the bigger, better, equals a more worthwhile life. It does not. The worth in life comes from the comfort we provide internally, and the sweet value we place upon doing a small amount in the manner best suited to the future of this planet.

    I am quite comfortable, content beyond anything you might imagine, and I am psychologically well balanced and truly happy. I have no need to demonstrate a well reduced concept of myself through meaningless and destructive competition.

    I suggest you relax yourself and find the worth in life from within, not by attempting to have others recognize your deceits through a materialistically false front. Few think this possible, but it surely is, and nothing can ever take it from you.

  • Peter

    Quite frankly I am sick and tired of G.

    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Why should G control the entire internet and how we manage our web sites and what content we put on them – whether good or bad?

    I am fed up bending over just because G tells me to. Anyone could see this coming years ago though. I don’t like MS much either, but now more than ever G needs competition before it takes over the internet completely – if it hasn’t already!

    Right now G loves FB pages, so every business now uses FB to try and sell – probably because G may have shares in FB. One day, G could decide it doesn’t like FB anymore. What do we do then?

    One of my clients web presence is now in this order in G, when you search under his company name:

    4 X YouTube videos
    4 X FB pages
    1 Linked in profile

    and finally on page 4 of the G SERPS, his site is finally listed. My client never did any bad linking and updated his site regularly, so why did this happen?

    Are these updates just a ploy for all businesses now to trade through FB and if they want a better presence, then to buy PPC on G?

    All in all the current situation sucks and will only encourage the latest growing niche business – Negative SEO.

    Well done G. You really did it this time!


  • http://www.e-labz.com David

    As a content developer in Kenya,I can honestly point out that it will take more than IE on an XBOX 360 here in Kenya to get people using BING. Google has a large market share and as more people get online, they continue to use Google while BING becomes a tool for the few Internet savvy. I believe this is the trend on all developing markets.

    BING should consider aggressive marketing in these emerging markets if is going to have a future.

    If you are listening BING, am always ready to help.