Bing search has taken over a surprising amount of Google’s turf

Microsoft’s search engine Bing has made some seriously surprising inroads into Google’s territory, managing to snatch a considerable chunk of the search market in the US and UK.

According to comScore’s figures for desktop PC searches in March of this year, Bing has managed to capture no less than 33% of the market over in the States. And it’s not far behind that in the UK, with a 26% share.

That represents 5 billion searches every month in the US, and just under 980 million in the UK.

Note that Bing is considerably more popular in these two countries than most other places in Europe, or indeed the rest of the world. Bing has a global market share of 9%, in fact – and it’s worth further noting that Bing searches here include Yahoo and AOL searching powered by Microsoft’s engine.

Nonetheless, that’s still almost a tenth of the global market – and the overall percentage is pulled down by the Asia-Pacific region, where Bing’s market share is only 3%.

It’s quite incredible to think that one in three searches in the US are powered by Bing, and a quarter of all searches in the UK. That’s far more than we (and doubtless many others) imagined would be the case.

Other highlights include a 19% share in France, 17% of the Canadian search market, and a score of 24% over in Taiwan.

As MS Power User, which spotted this data, observes, Microsoft’s search engine is on course to pull in $5 billion (around £3.9 billion, AU$6.6 billion) in terms of annual revenue, which is hardly small fry.

Windows of opportunity

So what’s driving Bing’s success? The spread of Windows 10 is the primary factor, with Microsoft’s newest OS maintaining a steady rate of growth as time goes on, as we saw with the latest figures on that front yesterday.

Windows 10 is fronted – quite literally, from setup onwards – by Cortana, and searches conducted via the digital assistant are powered by Bing.

As Windows 10 continues to gather pace, and more folks begin to use Cortana on the desktop, naturally more searches will come Bing’s way.

And to some extent, Google getting flak for anti-competitive practices in Europe, as seen last month when the search giant was hit by a massive fine for favoring its own shopping services in results, isn’t likely to hurt Bing’s prospects either.

We’ve certainly had several non-techie friends hear anti-Google news hitting the headlines, prompting them to think about using alternatives. This search might lead folks to Bing’s door.

And finally, the fact that Microsoft will now pay you to use Bing could tempt some folks, as well.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).