Microsoft’s Bing has never been in danger of surpassing Google as the most popular search engine on the Internet. Microsoft announced today that Bing has surpassed 100 million daily active users. The AI-powered features of the “new Bing” preview, which the company released last month, appear to be helping.
Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi writes, “We are fully aware that we remain a small, low, single-digit share player,” emphasising just how small Microsoft’s share of the search market is in comparison to Google’s. In conclusion, it feels great to be at the dance!
Google does not disclose the number of daily active users for its search engine, but StatCounter data indicates that its market share in the United States hovers just below 90 percent, compared to 6 or 7 percent for Bing.
Microsoft claims that there are “millions of active users” experimenting with the AI-powered Bing preview, and that roughly a third of them are new users. The company also attributes the slow but steady growth of Microsoft Edge, which uses Bing as its default search engine and prompts you repeatedly to switch back to Bing if you change your default search engine.
Microsoft launched the Bing chatbot in a “limited preview” last month using an OpenAI large language model (LLM). The company has made a number of adjustments to the bot’s behaviour in response to its occasionally bizarre and threatening conversations. One change limited the number of responses the chatbot could provide in a single instance, as it was easier for the bot to go off the rails during extended sessions; more recently, Microsoft introduced “personalities” for the chatbot to make its responses either more straightforward or entertaining.
Microsoft has added “new Bing” features to the Edge browser, Skype, the Windows 11 taskbar, and a few of its developer tools over the past month. Additionally, the company is evaluating “multimodal AI” technology that can process multiple forms of input, such as images, text, audio, and video.