Binging in the Rain. It Is a Wonderful Feeling

October 23, 2015

I read “Microsoft’s Bing Search Business Finally Is Profitable.” The question is, “Will it remain a money spinner for Microsoft?” Bing became available to those seeking an alternative to the Google in 2009. The history of Microsoft Web search reaches farther back in time. Remember MSN Search circa 1998. I do. I wonder if Microsoft’s financial wizards have included the costs of Microsoft’s Web search activities from 1998 to the present. Probably not. The reason is that the fully loaded costs plus any other financial odds and ends like the cost of money or opportunity would give the CPAs headaches. Bad headaches.

According to the super wonderfully positive write up:

Microsoft isn’t simply relying on Yahoo to grow Bing and search, however. Microsoft has been building Bing into more and more of its products over time.Microsoft officials said during its October 21 first quarter FY 2016 report that its search revenue, excluding traffic-acquisition costs, grew 29 percent, driven by higher revenue per search and search volume.

This is a nice way of saying that we can put a nice spin on this Bing thing. I immediately thought of the hit Singing in the Rain and the lyrics:

So dark up above
The sun’s in my heart
And I’m ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I’ve a smile on my face

Yes, happy. Will the Jive Aces, the hit musical act, not the Microsoft cheerleaders get a contract to do the music video for this wonderful news?

The loss of the Yahoo almost exclusive for search, the use of Baidu for search results in China, and the deal with Yandex suggest that Bing may be drifting from its Microsofty technology roots. That is actually okay.

Bing’s index consistently seems to omit results which I can locate in lesser beasts, including Qwant and

I noted this passage as well:

Microsoft has been working to streamline its search and advertising business business for months.

The Bing search system is now an information access portal. Search is important, but the wrappers now differentiate information retrieval from information access. Will the revenues from the new Bing payback previous investments in search? Ask a Microsoft accountant.

Stephen E Arnold, October 28, 2015


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