The Great Debate UK

from Breakingviews:

Microsoft ought to kick off search for Bing buyer

By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

NEW YORK -- Microsoft needs to concentrate on a different kind of search: finding a buyer for Bing, its online search business. The industry's distant number two is a distraction for the software giant -- and one that costs shareholders dearly. The division that houses Bing lost $2.6 billion in the latest fiscal year. Facebook, or even Apple, might make a better home for Bing. And a sale would be a boon for Microsoft's investors.

Microsoft has been pouring money into Bing -- this year's losses are greater than the previous year. The company thinks search makes Microsoft's offerings in everything from mobile phones to business software more compelling. Perhaps, but there's little evidence to date. And Bing and sites it powers like Yahoo still only control about 27 percent of the U.S. market. Google has more than twice as much.

Advertisers don't want a monopoly in the search business, which should assure Bing of some future revenue. And Google may be partially hamstrung in competition by antitrust probes worldwide. But the business has more value to a buyer that could bring it traffic.

from Commentaries:

I am thinking of rebranding myself as Zing

Some tech links to start the week:

I am seriously considering changing my byline to Zing, what with all the media attention a certain search engine is getting.

Bing search for Eric Auchard

The New York Times looks at the ups and downs of turning brands into verbs. The jumping off point is Bing, Microsoft's effort at verbal one-upsmanship over Google, Twitter and over generic daily activities. The software giant must alter deeply ingrained computer habits to succeed. In the meantime, my original questions about Bing remain.