Microsoft, Facebook are collaboration pals: Will the new Bing deliver market share returns?

Microsoft and Facebook sound like a match made in search heaven. But the returns on the new Bing are far from complete without market share gains vs. Google.

The latest Bing is billed as a great collaboration between Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft and Bill Gates. It's a nice partnership between the two companies, but it remains to be seen if hackathons and corporate powwows can result in a real encroachment on Google's turf.

CNET's Jay Greene outlines the collaboration between the two companies. The details roughly go like this:

  • 10 Microsoft developers hacked it out with 10 counterparts from Facebook.
  • Zuckerberg dropped in and had some ideas about integrating Facebook and Bing. In a nutshell, don't force it.
  • Bing now has results from your Facebook friends and their searches.
  • People referrals lead and social networking is baked into search. That last takeaway was from Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
  • Add it up and this collaboration exercise is worth noting. Two companies are coming together and pairing up developers. The early returns go to Bing---it has a feature that Google doesn't.

But this collaboration case study is far from complete. The ultimate returns will come if a) Microsoft gains on Google; and b) Facebook can keep Google from using its search as a social bridge to users.

Google already has its search plus your world with a Google+ backbone. Can a partner---Microsoft---essentially be Facebook's search backbone and vice versa? We'll find out. For now, the Bing launch with Facebook is a heartwarming collaboration project, but nothing more. The real success of this collaboration will show up in the market share statistics down the line.