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article imageMicrosoft mission to increase Bing usage by '10-15%' ends in 1%

By James Walker     Sep 18, 2015 in Technology
Before the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft claimed the new operating system's deep-reaching search features would lead to a 15 percent increase in Bing usage. Nearly two months on, an independent study says only a 1 percent increase has been experienced.
Neowin reports on the latest findings from search analysts comScore. It found Bing usage increased 1 percent during August 2015, over July, but still shadowed Google's market dominance. The Mountain View giant now holds a 63.8 percent share, a 0.2 percent decrease from July, while Microsoft follows with 20.6 percent.
Back in late July, Microsoft's David Pann, general manager of Bing Ads, penned a blog post in which he said the company was expecting "10 to 15 percent" increases in Bing usage from September. He said this would come from a combination of new users and more frequent searching by existing ones. The post has since been pulled, indicating Microsoft has now disowned those rather bold claims.
The force behind this substantial increase was supposed to have been Windows 10. With a Bing-powered search bar sitting right on the taskbar and an all-new Bing and MSN-powered web browser next to it, Microsoft seems to have thought that providing the tools would naturally lead to people using them.
In practice, it hasn't played out like that. Although Cortana has been named as the "most loved" feature of the operating system, apparently most users are still content to keep firing up a browser and heading to Google when they need to research some information.
The situation isn't likely to have been helped by the various widely-reported privacy concerns associated with Windows 10 right from its launch. From fears that Microsoft monitors searches for personal files and data to concerns that the company may even bar users from their computer for installing pirated software, the media coverage of Windows 10 hasn't always been entirely positive.
Most of the issues have ultimately been rooted in the operating system's near-reliance on an always-on Internet connection to make the most of its features. That connection, and the monitoring and "phoning home" it provides, is manifested for most users in the Bing-powered Cortana search bar that Microsoft really needed people to use.
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