Bing continues to make search inroads

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Microsoft's Bing search engine continues to gain market share steadily, with December seeing its biggest percentage jump since its launch five months ago.

Figures from market research firm comScore show Google still has a stranglehold over US search, taking a 65.6 per cent share of the 14.7 searches racked up in December.

But Bing, which held an eight per cent slice of the search pie when it was officially unveiled in the summer, has gained ground every month since, and now stands at 10.7 per cent, with December's jump of 0.4 per cent representing a better performance over the month than any of its rivals.

Google itself remains on an upward trajectory too, however, and now holds a higher market share than at any time in the past year. The primary losers are Yahoo and AOL, which have dropped 2.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively since Bing's launch.

Trailing in a distant fifth place is, though its performance remains reasonably steady even if it's only responsible for around one in 25 searches made in the US.

With nearly a fifth of the search spectrum, Yahoo is still the second most popular service in the US by some margin, but Microsoft has almost halved the gap between them in five months to just 6.6 per cent.

Bing officially went live in the US on 7 June after being unveiled by Microsoft at the end of May. It built on Redmond's existing Live Search infrastructure.

Since then it has integrated computational search results from startup search site Wolfram Alpha to add to its appeal, and Microsoft has just announced a collaboration with HP that will see Bing installed as the default search tool on new HP machines.

In addition, Microsoft and Yahoo already have a 10-year search and advertising partnership in place, with the former providing the search and the latter its global advertising nous.

In the UK, Bing has been slower to pick up traction largely because it only came out of beta two months ago.

Click here for our review of Bing.