Analysts: Microsoft should sell off Bing

Microsoft launched its Bing.com search engine a couple of years ago but since then the service hasn't made much of a dent in the market share of Google. That company still dominates in search and now according to a new opinion piece posted on the New York Times web site Microsoft should bite the bullet and sell off its Bing business.

According to the authors of the piece, Robert Cyran and Martin Hutchinson, part of the reason behind their thinking is the massive losses that Microsoft is generating with its Bing business. The division that includes Bing search lost a whopping $2.6 billion in Microsoft's last fiscal quarter. The authors states, "Advertisers do not want a monopoly in search, which should assure Bing of future revenue. And Google may be partly hamstrung as a competitor by antitrust inquiries worldwide. But the business has more value to a buyer that could bring it traffic."

The authors offer up some potential buyers for the Bing business. They claim one possibility is the social networking service Facebook which already works with Bing to offer up search results. The authors states, "It might be interested in buying the site, keeping more traffic onsite, and perhaps using its data to better tweak search results." They add that Facebook might want to have its own search engine to better fight off the threat of Google which launched its own Google+ social networking service a month ago. Apple might also be a possible buyer for Bing.

Finally the authors point out that if Microsoft sold off the money losing Bing to another company, "... Microsoft would have made 10 percent more profit. That is something that should excite even jaded Microsoft investors."

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