Microsoft launches Bing

Microsoft has today (13 November) given its Bing search engine a full UK launch as it looks to usurp Yahoo! as the main search rival to Google.

Bing has been in Beta testing mode in the UK since June and the full launch brings the UK in line with the US and Canada, where the search engine went live earlier this year.

Microsoft is positioning Bing as a tool to “make decision making faster and easier”.

It is supporting the launch by sponsoring X Factor coverage across Global Radio stations including Capital and the Heart Network.

It will also run in-game advertising within the Xbox live network as well as through a joint initiative with Thomas Cook that offers users a chance to win a holiday.     

The full search engine adds enhanced visual search, Twitter integration and an “instant answers” service that provides search results on real time events such as the latest football scores, to the features already seen in the Beta version.

Microsoft wants Bing to offer more organised search results through features such as categorised search, more relevant localised results and a “richer” aesthetic look including images on the home page and facts, quotes and information relevant to the UK.

Cedric Chambaz, marketing manager at Microsoft Advertising, says it is now a “challenger”.  

“We tried for years to make a Google like product but failed”, he says, adding that the company wants to “make the search experience more engaging”.

He adds Microsoft aims to unseat Yahoo! and become the main challenger to Google. According to Comscore, Bing has a 2.9% share of the queries market in the UK, while Yahoo! has 3.5% share. Both trail Google, which is on 79.5%.

Chambaz says there will be “further consumer support next year” but would not comment further on future marketing plans.

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