Microsoft launched its Bing Internet search business in 2009. Now a new and extensive New York Times article takes a detailed look at the Bing side of Microsoft's business. According to the article, industry analysts estimate that developing and supporting Bing costs Microsoft a whopping $5 billion a year. However, the company has yet to put much of a dent in the market share of the search business of its biggest rival Google, which not only has far more users, but can use its huge user base to attract more advertising money. By contrast, Microsoft's online services division, which includes the Bing business, lost $2.53 billion in its last fiscal year that ended in June.
Despite the huge losses, the article says that Microsoft is making some progress. It points out that it has a new agreement with the social networking service Facebook that lets Bing search the "Like" tags of a Facebook user's friends. Microsoft sees a time where people will speak into a smartphone to find a restaurant and a movie for Friday night and Bing software will come up with suggestions based on a user's previous preferences.
Microsoft is still working on Bing application prototypes. The article describes one of them, the Bing Deskbar, that's designed to store search info by different categories. The article states, "It presents information in those categories in large on-screen icons, or tiles, and sorts data by what is most "recent, relevant and frequently used,' as one designer says."