Comscore's latest data: Bing's U.S. share grows and Windows Mobile's drops

Comscore's latest data: Bing's U.S. share grows and Windows Mobile's drops

Summary: Microsoft's Bing is now the source of 11.5 percent of all U.S. searches, up from 11.3 percent in January, according to comScore. Meanwhile, Windows Mobile's marketshare continued to plummet, according to comScore, and is now at 15.7 percent among U.S. smartphone subscribers.


The February comScore data is in, and Microsoft's share is up slightly again, while Yahoo's share continued to decline.

Microsoft's Bing is now the source of 11.5 percent of all U.S. searches, up from 11.3 percent in January, according to comScore. Yahoo is down to 16.8 percent, from 17 percent in January. Google is still the dominant No. 1, with 65.5 percent of U.S. searches for February, up from 65.4 percent the prior month.

Microsoft and Yahoo received antitrust clearance for their proposed partnership in February. Via that 10-year deal, Microsoft is going to be powering with Bing the Yahoo Web search results. I'm interested to see what happens to the Bing share numbers once that transition is accomplished; will the combined Microsoft-Yahoo share stay stagnant, decline or remain the same, compared with Google's share?

In addition to releasing monthly search-share results, comScore also announced its latest U.S. mobile-phone subscriber-marketshare numbers. Windows Mobile's share of the market continued to slide, yet the Microsoft smartphone OS (on all Windows Mobile phones from multiple vendors combined). Yet Microsoft still remained the No. 3 player, subscriber-wise, behind RIM and Apple for the three-month period between October 2009 and January 2010.

Microsoft was the biggest loser, share-wise, during that three-month period, dropping to 15.7 percent share, according to comScore. The biggest gainer was No. 4, Google, whose share rose to 7.1 percent, according to the comScore data released on March 10.

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 partners aren't expected to begin shipping phones with Microsoft's new mobile OS until the fourth quarter of 2010. Microsoft officials have said that applications written for Windows 6.x phones won't run on Windows Phone 7 devices. It would seem Microsoft's share of the smartphone OS market is going to continue to take a nosedive for the next couple of quarters, at least, given those factors....

Topics: Mobile OS, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows, Social Enterprise


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • That's no surprise

    Given that a new OS will be out in the near future, why would I want to buy a WinMobile phone right now?

    Like with the introduction of Windows 7, everyone will hold off until then.
    • Agreed. I prefer WM to Apple/Android and I still won't buy until WP7S

      The only people who will are those that don't even know about WP7S. I expect their share will artificially drop significantly until 2011.
      Johnny Vegas
      • share artificially drop until 2011...

        wow, what an humoristic spinner!
      • I will be leaving Windows Mobile for WebOS...

        Windows Mobile is STILL a very boring UI, and I have a Windows Mobile 6 device, and plan to migrate to Palm's WebOS as I am very impressed with it (especially the 1.4 update). My contract expires next year and I won't miss Windows Mobile at all.
        • Good luck to you!

          Palm is currently in freefall with no safety-chute to save them.

          (Relatively speaking) nobody has any interest in Palm any longer - Android and iPhone currently have the largest volume of interest amongst consumers. RIM still has a unique device & service offering for businesses, but even that's going to struggle moving forward.

          The dark horse here is Windows Phone 7 Series which is due to ship later this year and which is igniting some significant interest.

          Next week is when all the device & dev platform details emerge at Mix2010: I'd hold off your purchase until you've at least seen what the plans are to ignite the developer community around WP7S.
          • Sure, Wait for WinMo7 VERSION 1.0 !!!!

            Don't forget this is version 1.0 everyone's talking about. I'd wait at least another 6 months after launch.
          • Time to kill this. ALL OSes have problems with release 1.0. No exceptions..

            Every OS in history has become better over time and started with some issues.
            How this has only been tagged to Microsoft is beyond reason, but it may have a lot to do with it's dominance and everyone expecting perfection from MS but not anyone else.

            sorry but humans are fallible at every company.
  • A funny thing happened...

    A company I do work for got in a load of Dell PCs preloaded with Windows Vista. They went through the process of performing a manual upgrade to Windows 7. The first time IE was started, the system notified the user that the default home page value had become corrupted (it had been the Dell/Google portal) and so the system decided to make Bing the default. I guess that's one way to increase your search engine market share...
    • And what is Chrome's home page? And Safari's?

      • And Firefox' (Remembering that Google funds Firefox ... for now) [NT]

        • However...

          True enough. Remembering that Windows has the lion's share of the desktop market, as people move to Windows 7 (or just buy a new computer), the default search engine will be Bing.
          I would be interested to know if the increase in Bing traffic corresponds to Windows 7 installs.
          It's nice to be a monopoly! :-(
          • Not that simple.

            Remember, OEMs are all too happy to sell the default search setting as prime real estate. While you may buy a computer with the default set to Bing, you're probably just as likely to get one with the default set to Google. It depends on who you buy the computer from.
            Bryan F.
          • Good point. It also proves MS doesn't have exclusivity with the OEMs. NT

          • I don't really think the "default" provider makes that big of a difference.

            People that use Google will use Google no matter the default. Sure it will get those that don't change their default but I think, as we move toward the 2nd decade of a new millenium, way too much 1990s and early 00s thinking is just left over when the fact is the average user has evolved greatly since 1995 when win95 launched.
            Average "Joes" install home networks all of the time these days and are no longer in the dark about PCs. The on/off switch is no longer a magic button that just makes the computer come to life and whatever comes up they use.
            Nah, that's an age gone by.
            realistically I would say that is maybe 5% of the using public here in 2010. That is is still a chunk, but it's a wash with the 100% that Apple and Google get.
            And apple has monopoly status on ipod/phone/touch/pad content and it's revenue and has the lions share of *Windows* users content delivery due to itunes for Windows.
            MS doesn't have a very active content delivery role on it's platform. Anyone can write code to it as it's open to anyone. Not so on Apple's most dominant platform. Apple decides who writes and what they write. Quite restrictive and monopoly like.

            Google has essentially a monopoly on search and web advertising. They are so huge they have some level of control over internet bandwidth.

            So, yes, it's nice to be a monopoly. Google actually is lucky MS is nearly a monopoly. they obvious are not a monopoly as defined in any dictionary where 100% control is required.
            But Google would not have risen without that Windows infrastructure. Who else was poised to create it in the early 90s? Apple was still selling 2500.00 computers and their manufacturing output was not nearly sufficient to produce the numbers of machines the clones did. If IBM had retained control and clones never came into being, they would not have created the number of PCs worldwide either due to being expensive and like Apple, proprietary with their hardware.
            Google loves the fact they are dominating the web, on top of Windows.

            I think we can just throw out the old "monopoly" argument and start with a 2010 point of view.
    • I never had that happen

      and we upgraded 10 Dells with Vista, to Windows 7

      Was it a corporate copy? Maybe the original copy was bad, and kept reproducing the error?
      John Zern
      • Volume license...

        All MS licensed products go through volume licensing. The PC came in from Dell, unboxed, plugged in, booted up and added to the domain. Windows updates were applied based on domain policy. Upgrade from offial MS CD. First time opening IE after upgrade and viola. This is a smallish company with maybe 150 desktops total in the organization, so they do their installs by hand and not from an image.
  • WP7S is a gamble MS had to take. It could completely fail...

    The users keeping WinMo at 3rd place, for now, are not going to switch to wp7 due to incompatibility, and it's going to be tough to fight for share between the iphone and android users.
    xbox Live if everything is right and the pricing is right could be a huge draw but I think MS has to consider how they sell the xbox service and make it as low cost as possible.
    I don't have an xbox so I'm not sure of the service packages available but they'll need a "buy as you go" and limited plans for casual gamers and keep the unlimited package to an affordable price or it's a no go right now.
    MS doesn't have the higher income customers as a base to rely on. This is totally new waters for MS.

    I think the phone looks great. I hope it works as good as it looks.

    Way to go Bing...look out Google.<br>
    • I agree ... Phone XBox Zune Social Office = interesting

      Only time will tell whether Microsoft's bold bet will pan out, but if they even come close to shipping devices that offer the kinds of experiences they recently demonstrated, then I forecast that MS have a considerable success on their hands with WP7S.

      Can't wait to hear the details about the device capabilities, dev platform details, etc., that emerge from MIX2010 next week.
      • Me too....I'll be watching....but I fear..

        MS will find a way to draw negative publicity. In fairness to them, they don't even have to really do anything wrong cause the tech media holds MS to perfection and dishes on anything less.
        But I fear pricing issues. Mr. Ballmer doesn't seem to understand that things that give short term gain or milking a system (as he admitted was the case with XP and promoted that school of thought at a U.S. University to business students) can also have the affect of losing customers. Short term loss seems preferable to longer term erosion of the customer base.
        They just don't seem to get that simple principal, time and time again.
        I realize being massive they have to pay attention to the desires of very large clients and partners and much of what happens is the best attempt at finding a sweet spot.
        They are in the unfortunate position of needing to keep the old guard happy without neglecting the next generation.
        Not so established companies, in terms of marketshare, such as Google and Apple (talking desktops as an example) can obviously take a more aggressive approach.
        At the end of the day however it would seem MS has the employees and partners to meet multiple markets, but after many years I am resigned to the fact nothing earth shattering is going to come out of MS, even with world class R&D centers around the world.
        I think what they have is very good, don't get me wrong.
    • Well I agree with you

      I think Microsoft will succeed in it. Once the developers embrace the
      platform, it will have more apps than iPhone in no matter of time
      because of two reasons
      1. It has good development platform than rest of the smartphones,
      and we will know more about it during MIX10.
      2. Every Silverlight and .NET Developer could easily develop their apps
      enterprises can extend their business apps to .NET. The good thing is
      it has full Exchange and Office Integration and Microsoft's hidden gem
      SharePoint client is avialble in Office Mobile 2010 and I hope that
      would be available for WP7S.

      My 2 cents
      Ram U