Microsoft’s Bing AI chatbot gamble might have worked - and Google will pay the price

The 'not stonks' internet meme, featuring stock art of an unhappy businessman with the Google logo superimposed over his face while a large red line graph descends in the background.
(Image credit: Google, Reddit)

Microsoft has pushed hard and fast to get the ‘new and improved’ AI-powered Bing out there to consumers and it seems like all that hard work and (light badgering of users) may have paid off. As of now, it seems Bing is gaining new users while Google is seeing a small drop.

According to Reuters, Microsoft is seeing an increase of about 16% in page visits since Bing launched its ChatGPT-powered ‘new Bing’ experience. Microsoft confirmed earlier this month that it has now reached an estimated 100 million active users and that number is likely to continue in an upward momentum as more people get comfortable - or at least cautiously acquainted - with AI chatbots. 

Microsoft launched the enhanced Bing in early February and has since then seen a 15.8% boost in page visits according to the data, which could suggest a sliver of success in Microsofts painstaking journey trying to pull users away from Google and its absolute dominance in the search engine sphere.

Analysis: We don't need to take Google out behind the barn just yet

Reuters points out that the drop in Google’s numbers is about 1% for the same time period and that’s obviously not a massive hit, but it does represent a significant number of people given Google's huge popularity. We can see this trend in terms of mobile downloads as well, with the Bing app seeing eight times more downloads compared to pre-GPT times, while Google's dropped by 2%.

We can see from this that there is a slow, small shift between the two search engines' normal dynamics, though we won’t be rushing to call it the ‘death of Google’ anytime soon. Microsoft is enjoying this newfound interest in its product (a refreshing change from its annoying, almost pathetic banners in the Edge browser demanding you not download Chrome) and it’s seen its own string of issues with Bing AI before reaching its current level of popularity. So, it's safe to say Google might have to go through these AI-related speed bumps too before it catches up.

Regardless, Google hasn’t taken things lying down! The company has just launched Bard, its own AI chatbot, and has big plans to integrate it with other products like Google Workspaces. Bard did pretty well in our first hands-on with the product upon launch and will hopefully rise to the occasion to find its footing in the AI world. 

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).