Summary: With money on the table and locality at play, Microsoft is managing to pull some PR for a failed product
Microsoft and comScore got together a few weeks ago and comScore then began marketing Microsoft’s poor search [1, 2]. There is nothing surprising here. That’s just how many such firms, including IDC for example, simply operate. Mary Jo Foley puts forth this promotional message right now:
In June — the month during which Microsoft launched its revamped Bing search engine — Microsoft’s share of the U.S. search query arena rose to 8.4 percent. (It was 8 percent in May, according to comScore.) In July, Bing’s share rose again modestly, to 8.9 percent share, comScore said.
They are not sampling it globally (same deception pattern as Net Applications and NPD). It is probably no coincidence and it is deceiving as well. There is no telling how they measure these things. They can trivially change the definition of what they measure and ensure that it is favourable to paying customers/partners like Microsoft. There are no laws against it and that’s how such business is sometimes conducted.
“According to one source, Microsoft’s market share in search (on a global scale) is about 3%, which is meager.”“Microsoft is having difficulty getting traction with Bing for the same reason that it is sometimes hard for anything other than XP to get traction,” argues Will. “People are used to Google. It’s been around for years. It’s part of the vocabulary. Even if it wasn’t Microsoft and even if the product was clearly superior, Google’s got strong inertia there.”
Despite spending about $100 million on Bong [sic] marketing, Microsoft has gained nothing of substance outside the US. According to one source, Microsoft’s market share in search (on a global scale) is about 3%, which is meager. Nonetheless, companies that have liaised with Microsoft (i.e. money on the table) will carry on playing the black art of selective statistics, so it’s important to remain skeptical about the English-speaking mainstream press, especially where it cites bad sources uncritically. █
“Lies, damned lies, and statistics”