The latest stats from Chitika show that Bing is heavily reliant on people not changing the default settings in IE (Internet Explorer). As IE automatically has Bing set as the default search engine and many people do not either know how to change this or simply do not bother, IE users account for almost 75% of Bing users.
So despite a huge marketing push of hundreds of millions of dollars by Microsoft and a growing market share, it would appear that much of this success can be attributed to default settings.
Some would argue that market share is ‘market share’ and how you achieve this is irrelevant, but in real terms for Bing and Microsoft it demonstrates that users do not necessarily prefer Bing. Furthermore with internet technology becoming more familiar to the general public, Bing could see a falloff in users as people become more aware of both search engine choice and browser settings.
This information is also probably very interesting to Google who have had their own browser (Chrome) out for a while now. In fact any future search engines will likely learn from this and create their own internet browser.
The problem that Bing and Bing powered search engines such as Yahoo face is that people aren’t using them because they’re better or easier to use. With the rising usage of Chrome and Firefox, as the graph below taken from Wikipedia shows, these browsers are catching up. Even browsers like Safari, who have been long established, and are now struggling to survive in a market driven by search engines.
The rise of mobile browsing will do nothing but continue to increase over the years to come as smart phones using operating systems created by Google and Apple dominate the market. All of this will ebb away at the old school and more antiquated browsers like IE, potentially crippling the growth of the only (arguably) real contender to Google’s throne.