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Bing! There's the bell.
Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) new search engine is off to a good start, but not as good as it first appeared. Bing briefly moved past Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO ) as the No. 2 search engine after being released into the Web wild, but it's slipped back to third as of this writing.
Third place is still impressive -- as are the latest engagement stats from comScore. The researcher says that Mr. Softy's search sites increased their market share from 13.8% to 15.5% in the week of Bing's debut. Translation: Bing is reaching more people than Live.com had been.
But the real target is Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) , and Bing is nowhere near the mark. StatCounter pegged Bing's share of searches at 5.56% on June 4 -- its best day -- but still well below the 87.66% The Big G got.
Calling that troubling would be unfair; it's only Bing's first week. And yet, in a sense, these numbers are troubling. They suggest that being good isn't nearly as important as being the Known Brand.
Google has a reputation for delivering quality search results. Mr. Softy's own tests during Bing's development -- back when it was still called "Kumo" -- found that users rated its results highest when they were disguised as being from Google, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Bing is a strong first step. But in the battle of the brands, good isn't good enough. Show us remarkable, Mr. Softy.
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