Microsoft (MSFT) announced on Wednesday that it is rolling out the mobile versions of its AI-powered Bing and Edge browser apps. The move is the next step in Microsoft’s efforts to steal market share in the search advertising market from rival Google (GOOG, GOOGL).
Google has a firm grip on the search market, controlling 85% of the global desktop market share and 96% of the smartphone search market thanks to its Android operating system. according to StatCounter. Bing currently only has 8.9% of the desktop market and 0.48% of the mobile market.
Microsoft first showed off the new Bing, which runs an improved version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and its improved Edge browser for laptops and desktops only at a press event at its Redmond headquarters. , Washington, February 7.
However, Microsoft knew it couldn’t ignore the mobile market. The majority of internet-connected people on Earth access the web through their smartphones. If Microsoft wanted to reach these people, it needed mobile versions of its apps.
“Because we know 64% of searches happen on mobile phones, we’re releasing all new Bing and Edge mobile apps to serve as your co-pilot for the web, even when you’re away from your desk,” said Yusuf Mehdi. , vice president of Microsoft and consumer CMO. in a blog post.
As with Bing and Edge for desktop, you can ask mobile apps to tell you a story, find a mistake in a line of code, or plan a route for an upcoming trip to a city you don’t know.
But Microsoft faces significant headwinds to ensure users choose its search apps over Google’s search and Chrome apps. Microsoft offers are third-party apps that you must first download from an app store and sign in to use.
Google, meanwhile, offers Google Search and Chrome on all licensed Android smartphones. According to StatCounter, Android, Google’s mobile operating system, controls 71.7% of the global smartphone market. This represents a considerable number of devices already running Google products.
Additionally, Google previously signed an agreement with Apple (AAPL) to be the default search engine in the iPhone maker’s Safari browser, giving Google an even bigger leap over Microsoft.
The tech giant is banking on Bing’s artificial intelligence capabilities to make it a more attractive option than Google’s own offerings. So far, Microsoft says about 71% of its more than 1 million testers have given Bing’s answers to their questions a thumbs up. Users can rate AI responses with a thumbs up, thumbs down, or report a specific issue they encountered.
But Bing, like ChatGPT, also gave some weird answers to user questions during its preview phase, with the software claiming it can spy on Microsoft employees through their webcams (it doesn’t), among other things. . Microsoft responded by reducing the number of questions a user can ask per chat session, saying too many queries can disrupt service.
As for Google, it is currently testing its own competing generative AI platform called Bard. This service, which is limited to a small group of what Google calls trusted users, could eliminate Bing if it is able to improve the platform in terms of overall performance.
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