Oh no, Bing Ads Coming to Windows 8.1 Smart Search!

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
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I was almost starting to love Windows 8.1 when I heard about this. Yes, of course, this is not news – Microsoft wants to make money. After all, is there a company in this world that doesn’t want to do that? But it seems that Microsoft is a master at doing mistakes and this one surely seems like one. At least, this is what I feel.

Everybody is envious at Google and the huuuuge amount of cash they are making from the online search advertising market. Bing has always been Microsoft’s effort to try and get some market share from Google (or, should I say, to try and not become extinct from the advertising market?). But somehow, they have always failed. And even now, the online community seems to appreciate more the coming of search engines like DuckDuckGo. Bing reminds me of bad search results and forced ad placement in movies.

Microsoft looking to make money with Bing ads in Windows 8.1

bing ads windows 8.1

Nonetheless, leaving all that aside, Microsoft still thinks they have a chance with Windows 8, ergh, Windows 8.1. They have announced that Bing Ads will be part of Windows 8.1’s Smart Search. For those that don’t know, Smart Search is the advanced search functionality in Windows 8, which is pretty impressive, as it groups together information found online, on your device, from your apps and your cloud account. Let’s say that you are searching for songs of Alice Cooper. The Smart Search will bring up as many details as possible about that subject, provided it’s a pretty broad one.

Citing from Forbes, who initially found out about this:

David Pann, general manager of Microsoft’s Search Advertising Group, said in an interview that advertisers don’t have to do additional setup to participate. The Smart Search ads will feature a preview of the websites the ad will send people to, as well as click-to-call info and site links, which are additional links under the main result that direct users deeper into a website to the most likely page they might want.

The goal, Pann says, is to give advertisers access to consumers across a broader variety of their daily activities, not just when they’re overtly conducting a search. “We want to get advertisers one click closer to consumers,” he says. That’s an extension of Microsoft’s goal to differentiate itself from Google by touting “task completion” rather than a list of results–though to be fair to Google, that’s a direction the search giant has been headed for years.

Let’s not forget that Bing powers Yahoo! who seems to be on a goode wave, especially after their new CEO, Marissa Mayer, has made substantial changes to the corporation’s way of conducting its business.  And Microsoft claims that Bing is doing great lately, having “a 25% increase in click volume and a 60% jump in the number of campaigns” .

Why Bing Ads in Windows 8.1 might work or not

First of all, the Smart Search feature in Windows 8.1 is not yet final, as the product itself is not yet final. Why is Microsoft already shaking hands with advertisers? Are they THAT confident in the potential of Smart Search? And another thing, I don’t think users are acquainted with the idea of ads inside their Windows system. Correct me if I’m wrong, but did Microsoft include advertising every before inside one of its core apps?

Google.com is only a website while Microsoft wants to inject advertising inside a feature that seems interesting for many and which is deeply integrated inside their operating system. It might work out for them if users will consent and will find the ads not annoying and actually complementary to their search needs. But, let’s be honest, that’s rather unlikely.

What do you think – has Microsoft made a wrong step?

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