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.