updated 06:03 pm EST, Sat December 21, 2013
Bing search engine soon to be profitable, says Microsoft
Microsoft's Bing search engine is will soon begin making money for the software giant, according to the company's chief financial officer for applications and services. ZDNet reported on Saturday that Applications and Services CFO Dave O'Hara had said Bing was ready to turn the corner, as Microsoft now has the resources to keep its search engine running without having to continue to make outsized investments in it. Future infrastructure investments for Bing, O'Hara said, will be incremental.
For the past six years, Microsoft has been making substantial investments in building out the infrastructure to run Bing. These investments included data centers, as well as the effort necessary to build Bing's search engine. O'Hara says that these investments were the reason behind Bing's continuing losses - the online services division lost $321 million in Q1 FY14 - but that the completion of the search engine's foundation means it is read to begin making money.
O'Hara says that Bing is no longer just a search engine, but a tool that has been integrated into multiple products that Microsoft offers, including throughout Windows 8, in the Xbox One console, and in Microsoft's forthcoming Cortana digital assistant. Microsoft will also look to integrate Bing's data set with a number of other future products, though O'Hara did not elaborate on what those might be.
Previously, Microsoft executives have said that the search engine would break even when it hit 20 to 25 percent of market share. Bing still lags far behind Google in terms of usage, but O'Hara says that the company is preparing to hit the accelerator on the service.
"We should be putting our foot on the gas at this point," O'Hara said.