The Evolution of Microsoft's Priorities: Bing AI and the Battle Against Google Search
This article discusses the recent developments in Microsoft's Bing AI and its implications on the company's strategic priorities. Despite the diminishing market share of Bing against Google search, Microsoft appears to be focusing more on advancing its AI technology across its products.
In the highly competitive world of search engines, Microsoft had hoped that the launch of Bing AI would attract users to the Bing search site. However, recent statistics have painted a different picture.
According to figures aired by Statcounter, Bing's share of the search engine market in the US has dropped by half a percentage point. Last year, Bing held a 7.4% share, which has now dwindled to 6.9%. In contrast, Google's market share has increased from 86.7% in 2022 to 88% currently.
"In the bigger picture, AI has become such a huge deal that Microsoft might be shifting its focus from leveraging AI to push their products to prioritize AI advancements."
A Concerning Trend or a Shift in Focus?
While the drop for Bing might not seem significant, it does indicate that Microsoft's AI chatbot has yet to make a substantial difference to its search traffic. In fact, this isn't the first time that Bing AI's contribution to Microsoft's search traffic has been questioned. Statcounter's global stats showed a slight drop in Bing.com's traffic.
However, does Microsoft care about this trend? Surprisingly, the answer might be no.
AI: The New Priority
When Bing AI was first launched, a significant part of its objective was to boost the attractiveness of Bing.com. However, since the chatbot launch, the AI explosion has been so pronounced that artificial intelligence has become the primary focus. Consequently, Bing search considerations have taken a back seat.
Microsoft's shifting focus is further evidenced by rumors that they are bringing Copilot, their AI assistant, to Windows 10. This is a surprising move, considering Microsoft had previously stated that the older OS was no longer getting new features. If true, this move indicates that Microsoft is more concerned about getting users on Windows 10 to use its AI, thereby bolstering their AI usage figures.
What Does the Future Hold?
Given the increasing importance of AI across various industries, it's plausible that Microsoft's end goal is shifting towards advancing its AI tech across all its properties and desktop OS ecosystem. The primary goal is getting people used to Bing or Copilot as their everyday helper.
Instead of using AI to push the company's other products, Microsoft now appears to prioritize the other way around. They might be banking on the possibility that users will naturally gravitate toward their other products if their AI systems gain enough clout.