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AI-powered chat helps Bing make a (small) dent in Google’s search hegemony

AI-powered chat helps Bing make a (small) dent in Google’s search hegemony


Microsoft’s Bing has never been in any danger of overtaking Google as the Internet’s most popular search engine. But the headline-grabbing AI-powered features from the “new Bing” preview that the company launched last month do seem to be helping—Microsoft said today that Bing had passed the 100 million daily active users mark.

“We are fully aware we remain a small, low, single digit share player,” writes Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, driving home just how small Microsoft’s share of the search market is compared to Google’s. “That said, it feels good to be at the dance!”

Google doesn’t provide daily active user numbers for its search engine, but StatCounter data suggests that its marketshare typically hovers just under 90 percent in the US, compared to 6 or 7 percent for Bing.

Microsoft says that there are “millions of active users” trying out the AI-powered Bing preview and that roughly a third of those are people who weren’t using the service before. The company also credits the slow-but-steady growth of Microsoft Edge, which uses Bing as its default search engine and will repeatedly prompt you to switch back to using Bing as your default search engine if you switch to something else.

Microsoft launched the Bing chatbot a month ago in a “limited preview,” using a large language model (LLM) from OpenAI. The company has made a number of changes to the bot’s behavior in response to its sometimes weird and threatening conversations. One change limited the number of responses the chatbot could give in a single instance, since it was easier for the bot to go off the rails during extended sessions; more recently, Microsoft introduced a number of “personalities” for the bot to make answers either more straightforward or more entertaining.

Since last month, Microsoft has added “new Bing” features to its Edge browser, Skype, the Windows 11 taskbar, and some of its developer tools. The company is also testing “multimodal AI” technology that can process multiple forms of input, including images, text, audio, and video.

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