Surprising, but is MSFT’s Bing giving Google a scare?

When Microsoft launched Bing I wasn’t expecting it to have too much of an impact, and when Google CEO Eric Schmidt taunted that launching a new search engine is something that Microsoft does about once a year I thought that his comment was on the money.  This was a view re-enforced by something I read suggesting that after an initial launch related surge traffic to Bing was declining.

So it was with some surprise this morning that I read a couple of posts suggesting that I may have been premature in writing Bing off.

Firstly and most importantly is the hard data.  As reported on ReadWriteWeb the latest Comscore info shows Bing making some decent progress in market share:

image Secondly, Bing seems to be getting a reaction at the product marketing level from Google.  As reported on search enging land the world’s number one search company has recently started using its valuable home page real estate to highlight the features it has which compete with the pretender’s strong points.

I hope they continue to be successful as Google needs some competition.  I have now switched my default search engine to Bing – let’s see how long I last…

UPDATE: Henry Blodget reports that Steve Ballmer is willing to invest $5-10bn more in search to win this battle, although Henry thinks it will be money wasted.