This week, Microsoft announced it would be bringing Bing search to the Xbox later this year- kind of. I say kind of, because it’s not the full Bing search engine.
There are already a lot of wheels in motion, which could significantly boost Bing’s share of the search market. The Facebook integration recently launched (and now being advertised on television) should help to some extent. Deals with Nokia and RIM to make Bing the default search engine on more mobile devices should help a lot.
Bing on Xbox could be huge, as the Xbox is a gateway to online access from the living room – and a very common one, when compared to something like Google TV. That said, Microsoft has limited the Bing experience to certain apps on the Xbox, as opposed to the entire web, and for that reason, this won’t be as big a boost to Bing’s market share as it would be if they simply put a full web browser on the device with Bing as the default search, or simply offering a Bing app that accesses the entire web.
Still, it will be powerful for continuing to build the Bing brand, and I’m sure they will find additional uses for it as time goes on. It will start by searching things like games, videos, and music through apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, ESPN, YouTube, Zune, etc. In all fairness, these are the types of content that are most likely to be accessed through TV on a regular basis, but Bing has a lot more to offer as a search engine, and it seems like they’re holding back here. How about shopping, for instance?
Here’s the relevant Bing for Xbox portion from Microsoft’s E3 presentation (courtesy of WinRumors):
Again, I have a feeling this is just the beginning of what we’ll see in terms of Bing/Xbox integration, and it’s smart on Microsoft’s part to simply get Bing on there in some capacity. The company has a lot invested in the success of Bing, and Xbox is about the best thing the company has going for it right now, as the latest earnings report indicated.