Microsoft rarely masks its hatred of all things Google, which makes most of its money on search advertising while investing in other products that eat into Microsoft market share, like Chrome and Android.
But with Bing, "They're so far behind, it's a long slog," says Wes Miller, a former Microsoft Windows program manager who is now research vice president at Directions on Microsoft. "People innately think of Google for search. How do you replace Kleenex? They're going to have to keep burning money for the foreseeable future until they can come up with something that out-Googles Google."
Microsoft cares about search because of advertising revenue, and also because Google has become synonymous with the Internet in almost the same way Microsoft became synonymous with personal computers.
Microsoft's response: "This is a long-term game for Bing," Microsoft said via email. "Bing continues to be focused on creating a great consumer experience, solid execution and steady market share growth. The most recent comScore market share report shows that Bing is continuing to make gains in the U.S., reaching 14.4 percent explicit core search share in June. Overall, Bing increased market share by more than 50 percent since launch."
Once upon a time, Microsoft's Internet Explorer commanded greater than 90 percent market share, dominating the Web browser market as much as Windows dominates PCs today. The Microsoft monopoly earned itself antitrust penalties by beating Netscape into submission, but it wasn't until the rise of Mozilla's Firefox (a descendant of Netscape) and Google's Chrome that the monopoly would be broken.
Nowadays, Microsoft loses browser share almost every single month, dropping to 52.71 percent in total number of users, according to Net Applications, and to 42.45 percent in total page views, according to StatCounter. The discrepancy between numbers of users and amount of usage suggests that the Web's heaviest users are the ones who replace the default Internet Explorer with Firefox and Chrome.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 took steps forward in speed, the user interface, and ability to display sophisticated content like HTML5, and Microsoft is moving to a faster release schedule that brings improvements to users on a more regular basis. Perhaps just as important, Microsoft has made IE9 available only on the newest versions of Windows, arguing that creating browsers that work across all types of computers drives quality down by appealing to the lowest common denominator.
In other words, Microsoft says Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox are hobbled because they run across Windows, Mac, Linux, and older, less capable versions of Windows such as XP. Microsoft wants you to believe that unless you buy a new version of Windows, you won't get the best browsing experience.
"In the future, the browser is only as good as the operating system and the device it runs on," IE Senior Director Ryan Gavin argued several months ago. "We have to think about these things as being integrated."