Bing is a search engine from Microsoft that was launched on May 28, 2009. Microsoft marketed the service as a “Decision Engine,” designed to return search results in a format that organizes answers to address your needs.

The service has its origins in Microsoft’s previous search engines: MSN Search, Windows Live Search, and later Live Search. Bing provides a variety of search services, including web, video, image, and map search products.

How many people use Bing vs. Google?

Bing provides users with an alternative to Google search, the dominant search engine in the market. At launch, Bing was widely expected to be a success and a competitor to major search engines such as Google and Yahoo!. The release of the Windows Live Toolbar and Bing’s results in the United States had been so successful that Microsoft was planning to extend the reach of Bing beyond the US. On June 1, 2009, Microsoft launched Bing globally, including 39 localized versions in over 25 languages.

As of February 2022, Statcounter, which tracks global search engine use, ranked Bing a distant second with about 3% market share compared to Google’s 92%.


How does Bing work?

When you search on Bing, in addition to providing relevant search results, the search engine also shows a list of related searches on the left-hand side of the search engine results page (SERP). You can also access a quick link to see recent search history. 

Bing launched with several features that were unique in the search market. For example, when you mouse-over a Bing result a small pop-up provides additional information for that result, including a contact e-mail address if available. The main search box features suggestions as you type, and Bing’s travel search is touted as being the best on the net. 

Where did the name Bing come from?

Microsoft had been using the “Bing” name for its “decision engine” project since early 2006. The name originated as a nickname of the eldest of three children of founder Bill Gates. The project went by the names of “Carbon”, “Las Vegas”, “Ontario” and “Seattle” before “Bing” was chosen. The name was chosen because of its short and sweet nature. The name also has a strong association with the company’s other products: Microsoft Bing Maps, Microsoft Bing News, and Microsoft Bing Finance. 

This article was reviewed and updated in March 2022 by Web Webster.







Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.
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