Microsoft’s quiet attack on Google with Windows 10 appears to be working

Larry Page and Satya Nadella
Alphabet CEO Larry Page; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Business Insider/Justin Sullivan/Getty

Here’s an interesting upside for Microsoft thanks to its aggressive push of free Windows 10 for consumers: People seem to be using Bing more.

When Microsoft reported its fiscal 2016 third quarter on Thursday, the company said (emphasis ours):

“Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs grew 18% in constant currency with continued benefit from Windows 10 usage.”

The company also said that 35% of the revenue from search in March came from Windows 10 devices.

Specifically, Microsoft says that “search advertising revenue increased $538 million or 55%. Search advertising revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs, increased 14%, primarily driven by growth in Bing, due to higher revenue per search and higher search volume.”

Beating Google at the search game is part of the master plan of giving Windows 10 away for free. Many of Bing’s services are baked into Windows 10, including search when you ask Cortana a question as well as Maps and other online services.

Microsoft hopes that with Windows 10, Bing will scoop up some serious internet search advertising market share.

But Google is hardly shaking in its boots. Google also reported earnings today and it reported a sizeable increase in its advertising revenue: up 16% to $18 billion.

The fact is, it’s not a zero sum game between Bing and Google. As more people in the world come online, and more of us use multiple devices, we’re simply using the internet more including Google and Bing.

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