Report: Rocky month for upstart Bing

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A new report shows Microsoft Bing lost some of its momentum in September, while Google expanded its dominance over the US search market – a rare ding for the scrappy young Bing.

According to the Web analytics firm StatCounter, Bing slipped from 9.6 percent of the market in August to 8.5 percent in September. Meanwhile, Google inched from 77.8 percent in August to 80 percent of the domestic market in September.

Bing was first unveiled on May 28, at the All Things Digital Conference. Microsoft had initially promised the engine would be live by June 3, but the service went online two days early. A major multimedia advertising campaign – comprised of banner ads, video spots, and interactive displays on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter – soon followed.

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Bing benefited from the early publicity. A report last month from comScore, had Bing claiming 9.3 percent of the US search market share in August. And a new batch of figures released by Nielsen put Bing as the fastest growing search engine in the United States.

In an open email to executives posted on the Microsoft site this week, CEO Steve Ballmer, who has helped spearhead the Bing campaign, said he was optimistic about the future of the IT industry, despite the sagging economy.

“I’m optimistic because there are encouraging signs that growth may resume in many parts of the world during the course of the next year,” Ballmer wrote. “More than that, I’m optimistic because I believe we are entering a period of technology-driven transformation that will see a surge in productivity and a flowering of innovation.”

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