Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft’s Bing now has the second largest market share for US desktop searches with 21.3 percent, trailing market leader Google, with 63.8 percent of the shares in January.

The surprising news comes after cross-platform measurement firm comScore released its monthly analysis on the US desktop search market for January on Tuesday.

According to the analysis released by comScore, Bing’s US desktop search market share has been on the rise since December last year.

In January, Bing’s share is up by 0.2 percent — a figure still a little far behind compared to that of Google, but a significant increase, nonetheless.

Yahoo, which once ruled the US desktop search market in the past, still has the third largest market share with 12.4 percent.

Bing, however, is the only established search engine with an increase in market shares from the period of December to January.

comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report* (Desktop Only)
January 2016 vs. December 2015
Total U.S. – Desktop Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search Entity Explicit Core Search Share (%)
Dec-15 Jan-16 Point Change
Total Explicit Core Search 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google Sites 63.8% 63.8% 0.0
Microsoft Sites 21.1% 21.3% 0.2
Yahoo Sites 12.4% 12.4% 0.0
Ask Network 1.6% 1.7% 0.1
AOL, Inc. 1.0% 0.9% -0.1

*“Explicit Core Search” excludes contextually driven searches that do not reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results.


Windows 10 the biggest driver

Analysts speculate that the increase in Bing’s market share may be attributed to Microsoft’s push on its Windows 10 PCs, wherein the default search engine for the OS’s Edge browser is automatically set to Bing.

It is said that the Windows 10 platform currently runs about 13 percent of Microsoft’s Windows devices, and that the company is hoping to increase the number of machines running on this platform to about one billion in three years’ time.

Analysts believe that this move by Microsoft can propel Bing’s market share even higher, if the company indeed has anything to do with its search firm’s unexpected recent upward trajectory.

The latest analysis by comScore shows that out of 17.5 billion desktop searches done in the US from December to January alone, Bing accounted for about 3.7 billion. Google, on the other hand, accounted for 11.2 billion of the total searches.

comScore specified that the total desktop searches done in the US for the same period is up by 1 percent, along with Bing and Google’s market shares — which are also both up by 1 percent -–– while Yahoo’s figures appear to stay stale.

Ask Network and AOL have the least amount of searches in the market analysis, with 0.1 and -0.1 percent changes, respectively.

Source: comScore