All of us have heard of Bing, but who of us actually use it? Usually Bing is thought of being that one web service that Microsoft tries to force you to use when you first open up Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer (to go and download Chrome of course).
It even gets more annoying when Bing is set as your default search engine, and you have to go into obscure settings in your browser to go and set your default homepage to Google. The people who actually use Bing are the ones that are either technologically ignorant or die hard Microsoft fans.
You could try and compare Google and Bing like you’d compare Coke and Pepsi, except it would be more like comparing Coke and Mellow Yellow. Why does Microsoft even try to invest all this money into Bing, when everyone knows that it will never outcompete Google?
The answer to this lies in how money is made through Google and how much they make doing so. Contrary to what money people may think initially, Google is really just an internet advertising company. Yes, you may say that Google offers all sorts of free services that are great such as Google Docs and Google Maps, but things like Google Docs do not actually make any money for Google directly.
Google makes about 95% of their profits from selling your information to advertising companies, such as your browsing data (nope, your incognito tab doesn’t hide you completely), personal contact information, and showing you advertisements on websites or when you search something on Google. Many companies have contracts with Google where they will pay Google a ton of money so that their website gets listed first when people search a certain keyword. It is through this advertising that Google makes so much money.
Microsoft’s approach to profit is much different. Microsoft makes most of their money from selling devices and their operating system. Microsoft hardly makes any money from advertising. How does Microsoft even make money from advertising? The answer is Bing. Microsoft created Bing so that they could have another small source of income to supplement another area of the market that they dominate. They know they won’t ever dominate the internet advertising market, but even taking 1% of such a huge area of the market can bring in a pretty penny.
To put it into perspective, Microsoft has Bing for the same reason that Google has Chromebook. Google knows it will never dominate the computer operating system market, but it still has Chromebook because it is a nice small income supplement to enhance another product that they otherwise dominate in.