On cue, as happens after almost every quarterly Microsoft earnings report, there are a number of industry watchers calling for Microsoft to dump its money-losing Bing, along with its parent org, the Online Systems Division.
You hear it all. Selling Bing would boost the stock price! It would give Microsoft more money to spend on other purchases! It would get the Softies back to focusing on their core Windows/Office/enterprise knitting! More here, here and here.
I'm here to deliver the bad news to those calling for Microsoft to bong Bing. In my latest column in Redmond Magazine, I itemize some of the many reasons that Bing isn't going anywhere.
What many outside Microsoft seem to forget is that Bing isn't a standalone entity. Yes, it is a search engine (one that's very slowly growing in market share). But it's a lot more than that to Microsoft. It's a technology that is being baked into products all across the company.
If Microsoft sold off Bing right now, it would be selling off one of the main features of its smartphones, its Xbox/Kinect platform -- and, in the future -- a key part of its big-data/natural-language search solution.
I don't see the Softies doing this anytime soon. Do you?