What’s the future of Bing after Windows 10?

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Windows 10 launch was a long-awaited event for many of us. Its debut on July 29 this year finally brought the users that Windows 8 couldn’t provide. Microsoft received loads of positive responses from critics discussing its sleek design, trademark familiarity and useful functionality. The statistics also demonstrated its rapid rise in popularity.laptop

One of the new exciting features is Cortana, the company’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Now. The virtual assistant isn’t exactly new for Microsoft but she was introduced for the first time to desktop users. Cortana can answer your questions, provide you with information and help you organise your schedule. Windows 10 offers something for everyone and even game lovers can now stream activity from a console to any device running the new OS. Ironically, another ‘update’ is the new old Start Menu, after many users have found its absence incredibly inconvenient in Windows 8. What makes Windows 10 really stand out is Continuum, the feature which makes the transition between touch and non-touch as smooth and easy as we all want it to be. Microsoft also introduces a brand new browser called Microsoft Edge scrapping the old Internet Explorer which never revived despite Microsoft’s right-in-the-feels attempts. The new browser is one of the reasons why Microsoft hoped to finally see Bing back in the game. This has not happened just yet.

What Microsoft expected?

Just before Windows 10 launch, Bing Ads General Manager David Pann expressed his high hopes for Bing. The company expected an increase between 10 and 15 percent in their search volume. The integrated search bar and features like Cortana were definitely looking positive and in favour of Bing’s growth. Compared to previous editions of Windows, users don’t need to launch an app or browser to access Bing in Windows 10. Cortana is also built into Microsoft Edge which makes the transition of new users easier. In theory, the heavy integration of the search engine into Windows 10 made perfect sense and Microsoft were right to expect higher search volume by September.

What happened in reality?

windows_10According to comScore, Bing’s US market share has only increased from 20.4% in July to 20.6% in August. The volume of queries saw only 1% growth compared to the predicted more than 10%. Bearing in mind that Bing has a huge share in the US, the results are more than heartbreaking for Microsoft.

What the future holds?

Windows 10 has been on the market for only 2 months so it is early to make any huge conclusions but it is a fact that Bing hasn’t gained the popularity Microsoft hoped for.

Microsoft’s decision to launch a new browser, when we already have Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari is quite bold. Everyone has their personal preferences for one reason or another. The key is that browsers know what they are and would do anything to keep users around. For instance, if you are a Chrome fan, you are using one account for your Gmail, your Youtube, Google+ accounts and your Android phone, so why would you bother to change it? That connection between accounts and devices is even stronger if you are an Apple user. When you upgrade to Windows 10, your default browser automatically changes and it is more complicated to change it than it used to be. Microsoft’s assumptions that users, especially if they are not computer savvy, tend to keep their default settings might be right (yes, dad, I mean you) but if someone doesn’t want to use Edge, they will not use Edge and will keep going back to thesearch_engineir preferred browser despite what it is set as a default (yes, I am still talking about my dad). Users like familiarity and if they already have stored all their bookmarks and details in their Mozilla accounts, it is highly unlikely they will change to Microsoft Edge because of Windows 10. A lot of people are willing to engage with technologies and software of the same brand because they are familiar with the interface and the choice of a browser is no exception. Besides, let’s be honest…the reputation of Internet Explorer does not make it easier for Edge to stand out.

However, the new OS raises an interesting discussion around Windows phones. It is not a secret that they are far from being users’ favourite with only 2.7% market share in 2014. Windows 10 does definitely hold out some promises for Windows Phones but will it be enough? The newest version called Windows 10 Mobile offers packages of universal apps that run on desktop, tablet and phone hardware. The lack of available apps running on Microsoft Windows undeniably contributes to their unpopularity so creating tailored packages could change their luck. Windows Phones’ interface is generally quite unfamiliar to Android and iOS fans. Windows 10 has the opportunity to make users more attracted to the tiles. So it all comes in a circle. If there are more people using Windows 10, there will be more people using Window Phones, Bing, Microsoft Edge and vice verse. So if everything goes as planned, we could be witnessing a great turnaround for Microsoft and all their products such as mobile apps, Bing Ads, and others. It is interesting to point out that in some cases Bing Ads already convert better than their competitor, AdWords. If anything, they are definitely cheaper and less competitive. In the end, it is highly unlikely to achieve higher sales on Bing Ads than Google AdWords. However, if it brings you profit, it is definitely something you should consider and give Bing a chance.

If you need any help with your Bing Ads account, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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