Bing may seem like a forgotten entity, lost in Google’s dominance of the search engine world. But a look at Microsoft’s most recent financial results shows that’s not the case.
Microsoft on Tuesday beat analyst expectations for its quarterly earnings, posting revenue of $22.6 billion and profits of 69 cents a share, up 11 percent from last year. The company’s stock is up nearly 7 percent today.
While much of the attention was on Microsoft’s growth in cloud computing, Office 365, and other high-profile products, the company’s growing revenue from Bing was one of the more interesting data points.
Overall search advertising revenue increased $514 million, or 54 percent, to more than $1.4 billion. Excluding traffic acquisition costs, Microsoft said that search advertising revenue grew by 16 percent from last year, “due to higher revenue per search and higher search volume.” Driving some of that growth is Windows 10 — Bing is the default search engine for the Microsoft Edge browser and for Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant. Microsoft actually recently prevented Windows 10 users from using Google when searching with Cortana.
As a result of this integration, more than 40 percent of Bing’s search-related revenue in June came from Windows 10 devices. That’s up from 35 percent this past March, and will likely grow as more people shift to Windows 10. Microsoft originally hoped Windows 10 would be installed on 1 billion devices by 2018, but delayed those plans this week.
Bing also grew its search engine query market share on PCs to 22 percent, not including queries from advertising partners AOL and Yahoo. It’s the latest sign of Microsoft shifting away from its traditional software licensing model to make more of its money from online services.
While Bing is still far behind Google both in terms of query market share and advertising dollars, Bloomberg reported that Bing’s revenue exceeds Yahoo’s total sales over the past year, and is 2.5 times greater than Twitter’s advertising revenue during the same time period.