Microsoft to charge developers to access Bing features

If you are a software developer who has been using the Bing Search API features inside your app, your free ride will soon be over. Microsoft has been providing developers with access to the Bing Search API at no charge, which lets software programs use Bing data and search features. This week, Microsoft announced that those software makers will have to pay to gain access to Bing Search API later this year.

In a post on the official Bing blog, Microsoft announced that in the near future, the Bing Search API will have a monthly fee attached to it as Microsoft moves the program to the Windows Azure Marketplace. Microsoft says that because of this change, "Bing Search API developers will have access to fresher results, improved relevancy, and more opportunities to monetize their usage of the Search API."

Microsoft will charge $40 per month for a software program to use Bing Search API for up to 20,000 queries each month. More details on the pricing program will be made available later. The move to a monetary business model "...will begin in several weeks and will take a few months to complete", according to Microsoft. During the transition, it will remain free to use.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Zenimax files trademark on Skyrim meme

Next Story

Sleeping Dogs gets August 14th release date

26 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

any word about the microsoft (bing) translate api? I switched from google because they started to charge. Hopefully not this as well.

I'm not surprised by the move itself at all, but I am surprised by the timing and lack of detail. I would have expected this to come some months or a year after the Windows 8 and WP8 wave of releases, getting dev's hooked on 'free' prior to the launches.

Also, while not all details have been made available yet, it seems like rather short notice for those that have existing services and applications reliant upon the existing api access. They are being told in a matter of weeks the transition will begin yet not all the details or final pricing is even out, this could be seen as quite the slap in the fact to those that took a chance on the platform. I have to imagine many of these folks even if they want to continue or move to the platform need to tweak some code as from what info is available seems the service endpoints and other things will change, how many can do that in the time-line they have suggested I don't know. The lack of detail in the announcement doesn't exactly further trust with the development community.

Sucks for me, I had an application that relied pretty much entirely on their image search API that I was giving out for free... no chance of that happening any more - and no chance of me paying $40 a month either out of my own pockets (Though even then, I'm sure my API key has over 20,000 requests a month anyway)

chorpeac said,
This is just for their search API. Maps are a totally different story here, right?

I imagine so, since maps are more expensive as it is...

Honestly, you'd think they would want to encourage Bing's use and benefit from the market share and visibility rather than try to monetize it in this way...

M_Lyons10 said,

I imagine so, since maps are more expensive as it is...

Honestly, you'd think they would want to encourage Bing's use and benefit from the market share and visibility rather than try to monetize it in this way...

can they pay bills with "visibility"?

neonspark said,

can they pay bills with "visibility"?

Gaining marketshare certainly helps... Any possible customer that they can get directed to their platform is a possible customer that they can retain...

I don't really ever use bing if I'm honest, but this has sealed the deal for me never using it!
You can't really blame them though really, google basically uses all your information for directed targeted advertising and research whilst MS doesn't have a ms+ or whatnot to do that with.

n_K said,
I don't really ever use bing if I'm honest, but this has sealed the deal for me never using it!
You can't really blame them though really, google basically uses all your information for directed targeted advertising and research whilst MS doesn't have a ms+ or whatnot to do that with.

-1 troll score for incoherent babel

Cyborg_X said,

-1 troll score for incoherent babel


I forgot, 2012, you need to share the same opinion as the 'collective' to not be classed as a troll... Idiot.

n_K said,

I forgot, 2012, you need to share the same opinion as the 'collective' to not be classed as a troll... Idiot.

No, I think he was calling you a troll for a lack of cohesion in your argument. Came off as a bit a ramble, you see. At any rate, unless you are a developer, this will not affect you in the slightest (aside from fewer spam apps using Bing) and if you are a dev, then you should know (as it was posted above) that Google charges more than MS does for this kind of service anyways.

Hackersoft MS MVP said,
I can see most developers switching to Google
Yup. What a way to kill off your search engine. lol

Hackersoft MS MVP said,
I can see most developers switching to Google

Google charges $5 for 1000 queries, so no, this undercuts Google by leaps.

Cyborg_X said,

Google charges more.


I will tell u how its a win for google!! if people wanted free they would have used bing and not Google... so people are not going to move from Google to Bing because if they wanted to move they would have done it when Bing was free... here is how its a win for google. low search traffic users of bing might find $40 a month high and it will save them money if they move to Google since 100 queries a day is free in google thats sums to 3000 free queries a month and the additional cost them only $5

Edited by still1, Apr 13 2012, 6:13pm :

still1 said,

I will tell u how its a win for google!! if people wanted free they would have used bing and not Google... so people are not going to move from Google to Bing because if they wanted to move they would have done it when Bing was free... here is how its a win for google. low search traffic users of bing might find $40 a month high and it will save them money if they move to Google since 100 queries a day is free in google thats sums to 3000 free queries a month and the additional cost them only $5

wrong. price always wins and paying more for google makes no sense if you're a developer unless google has a feature that you absolutely must have, in which case, you are already paying for it. few, if any developers will switch just to pay more while not profiting more. take a business 101 course online and you'll get it.

neonspark said,

wrong. price always wins and paying more for google makes no sense if you're a developer unless google has a feature that you absolutely must have, in which case, you are already paying for it. few, if any developers will switch just to pay more while not profiting more. take a business 101 course online and you'll get it.

I think you need to read his comment completely before replying, not after only reading the first line.

neonspark said,

wrong. price always wins and paying more for google makes no sense if you're a developer unless google has a feature that you absolutely must have, in which case, you are already paying for it. few, if any developers will switch just to pay more while not profiting more. take a business 101 course online and you'll get it.


You did read my comment did you??

still1 said,

You did read my comment did you??

I'm sure he did.

Your maths are silly.
If your apps are only conducting the free queries per day, then you have a small number of users.
How do you make money by refusing new users because you don't want to pay for the features you're leveraging?

I guess I can't blame them, and I'm sure it will help improve Bing, but it doesn't exactly increase it's popularity or reputation, which is "meh" at best, at least from what I've seen.

If people weren't going to bother while it was free, not sure it makes a difference now. If they keep improving the rest falls into place.

40 dollars a month sounds pretty good just to stop apps that are just thrown out there and are really crappy.. It is probably also to support their own mobile apps..