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Microsoft to charge $40-plus for Bing search in outside code

updated 02:45 pm EDT, Thu April 12, 2012

Bing may become expensive for outsiders to use

Microsoft warned Thursday that it would start asking a monthly fee for using its Bing Search app programming interface (API). Apps and devices that use the official code will have to pay a minimum $40 per month for 20,000 searches. Those who need Bing will use the Azure Marketplace Microsoft uses for its cloud services to manage what they're paying.

The deal will give more recent and more accurate results, Microsoft claimed, as well as a potential way to make money from use. No exact timeframe was given for how soon the priced model would start, although Microsoft expected it to start in several weeks and run through "a few months."

Charging for the Bing API may produce a chilling effect at a risky moment for Microsoft. Its draw for some has been the absence of a cost where Google only has a very limited, 100-query free option. Microsoft is still well behind Google in search market share and risks losing some support if companies are now forced to pay to have native Bing integration.

The effect on other companies isn't clear, although it may not necessarily have a deleterious effect. Apple has a Bing search option in iOS, but it's more likely to be receiving money from Microsoft for the inclusion than paying for access. Its searches may also just be text queries passed off to Bing's website rather than any direct link. Third-party apps and widget developers, however, might be discouraged from Bing use and steer towards Google or much smaller alternatives.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. DaJoNel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +10

    Sounds like a successful plan

    Charge developers to use an already weak system.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Someone has to fuel the _____ fund

    Payola.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Great plan

    So you want to charge developers to use a search engine that nobody likes or uses? Great idea!

  1. facebook_Daniel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2012

    +4

    Backwards

    Microsoft should be paying companies to use it, not the other way around. I have no idea why anyone would pay them for this.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    huh?

    Third-party apps and widget developers, however, might be discouraged from Bing use and steer towards Google or much smaller alternatives.

    Steer towards google, which also has a pricing structure (according to your own article)?

    Or smaller alternatives like, what exactly?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    huh? (cont'd)

    Just looked it up. Google costs $5 per 1000 queries. Up to 10,000 (that's $50 for half the searching). Anything more, and contact sales.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Drop in the bucket

    Microsoft reported a $560 million loss last quarter for their Online Services division, which includes Bing. That's more than a $2.2 billion loss per year.

    Good luck digging yourself out of that hole, Microsoft.
    $40 at a time.

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    I'm very surprised

    I thought Google was ad supported. I had no idea they charged for their services.

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