Bing posts its tenth consecutive search-share gain and other Microsoft news bits

Comscore has released its March U.S. search-share numbers and Bing is up slightly again, marking the tenth straight month of modest gains for Microsoft's search engine. In other news from the week, VirnetX is going after Microsoft for more money in its patent-infringement case, and ZuneHD 64 GB media players are now available for sale.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Comscore has released its March U.S. search-share numbers and Bing is up slightly again. This is the tenth straight month of modest gains for Bing, according to the market watcher. Bing share was up to 11.7 percent in March (from 11.5 percent in February). Yahoo, for a change, also grew its share, to 16.9 percent in March from 16.8 percent in February. Google fell slightly in March, from 65.5 percent in February to 65.1 percent last month. In other Bing news, Microsoft rolled out a face-lift for the Bing shopping site this week with some minor UI tweaks and more reviews.

VirnetX goes after Microsoft for more money. VirnetX, the company which recently won round one of a patent-infringement battle with Microsoft over VPN technology, has filed a motion seeking more money for "enhanced damages," plus attorneys' fees, in its case against Microsoft. (The new damages fee will be whatever is determined as appropriate by the court, according to the new filing.) Last month, the East Texas jury recommended Microsoft be required to pay VirnetX $106 million, but VirnetX believes it deserves more, due to Microsoft's size, "financial condition" and its failure to take remedial action. VirnetX filed a second suit right after it won its initial case, claiming Windows 7 also is infringing on its patents. “Microsoft disagrees with VirnetX’s (latest) assertions, and we look forward to presenting our position to the Court," a company spokesperson said on April 9. Microsoft is appealing the initial decision.

Silverlight: Coming to a set-top box near you. Microsoft announced this week that it is working with Intel and Broadcom to create reference designs for providing the complete Silverlight platform to set-top boxes, connected TVs, Blu-ray disc players and other consumer devices. THe company also announced the upcoming release of Silverlight Media Framework 2.0. Microsoft is launching Silverlight 4 on April 13; the product is likely to be released to the Web in the coming week.

ZuneHD 64 GB models now available. Word was that Microsoft was planning to hold back this announcement until Monday April 12. But maybe the Softies decided against diluting the "Pink" phone messaging with a Zune unveiling. In any case, Microsoft has begun selling 64 GB models of the ZuneHD for $349.99.

Speaking of Pink, come back Monday for more about the new, Microsoft-branded phones for the teen/20-something market.

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