With news that Microsoft has spent US$ 5.5 billion on its Bing search engine, those using its new 'action buttons' might wonder where the money has gone.
Searching for a Solution
We'd always assumed that search engines were a revenue generator, yet Microsoft has, according to recent CNN reports, managed to spend well over US$ 5 billion on its Bing search service. While it has generated almost 30% of US searches in August, it still trails miles behind Google (around 65%). That's a lot of money to spend on second place, but we suppose Microsoft can afford the investment.
The company does has big plans for Bing, with plans to go about reorganizing the Web, but no matter how much money it throws at the problem, it looks like most people are just happy to "Google stuff." Microsoft's latest tweak is to add "action buttons" that help provide timesaving results in certain categories of search.
These buttons appear on some popular search types, and provide specific links to likely destinations on a page. The subjects include:
- Car Rental
- Software downloads
Each of those topics has its own distinct collection of buttons, so you can go direct to booking a hotel room, checking in with your airline, downloading some software or gaining access to your bank account login page.
Get to your intended destination quicker, via Bing's new feature
In the quest to get things done on the Web, it's a neat little bonus but unlikely to be enough to divert other users away from their favorite search engines or the dedicated apps that most companies now have for these services. Looking at some other editions, it also appears to be a U.S.-only innovation for now, but could well roll out to other territories soon.
With Yahoo possibly up for sale, Microsoft upgrading many services, including Hotmail, and social sites like Google+ getting its own search, the next few months may yet see plenty more turmoil and change in the market among the main players.