Google doesn't play fair with Bing, says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, February 2023
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently made another appearance in Google’s antitrust trial.
  • He pointed out that the deal between Google and Apple has negatively impacted Bing.
  • Nadella indicated he was willing to part with up to $15 billion annually to attract the deal with Apple, citing that it would be game-changing for the company. 
  • Google's search engine dominance in the market share is causing a competitive disadvantage to other competitors like Bing, as it uses its power to improve its algorithm, ultimately placing it further ahead.

When the topic of search engines is brought up, Google automatically comes to mind. It takes up 90% of the market share, leaving little room for other search engines like Microsoft's Bing to compete.

Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, echoed these sentiments earlier this week when he appeared in court to testify in Google’s antitrust trial. The CEO loosely referred to the internet as “Google Web,” asserting Google's dominance over other search engines.

According to a spot by The Wall Street Journal, Nadella highlighted how the deal between Google and Apple to have its device use its search engine exclusively has negatively impacted Bing. He further explained how game-changing it would be if Apple decided to ditch Google and pick Bing as its default search engine across its devices. Nadella cited that he was ready to have Microsoft pay up to $15 billion to attract this deal.

The CEO indicated that he was willing to hide the Bing logo in Apple's search engine. Nadella highlighted the importance of defaults, brushing off the idea of "easily switching" between search engines as "bogus."

When Adam Severt, a lawyer at the Department of Justice, asked the CEO why he wanted to compete with Google, he indicated that making money was the incentive, further citing that search is the "largest software category out there by far." However, he admitted that Microsoft was still ploughing profits off Bing despite Google's dominance over the search engine market share.

Google has been accused of allegedly breaking anti-trust laws by paying $10-15 billion to Apple, alongside Mozilla and other key players in the industry to retain and maintain its search engine dominance. Nadella added that Google has been able to maintain its dominance due to its massive market share. It uses the data from users when making queries to improve the search engine's algorithm. He added that it's difficult for other search engines to compensate for this gap due to their low user base.

The CEO added that exploring new avenues like AI has yet to bear any fruits and give Bing the competitive advantage it needs to get Google off the throne. 

The distribution advantage Google has today doesn’t go away; in fact, if anything, I worry a lot that – even in spite of my enthusiasm that there is a new angle with A.I., this vicious cycle that I’m trapped in could get even more vicious.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

Google's exclusive deals to prioritize its search engine aren't doing Bing any favors. We'll have to wait and see if Microsoft can turn a corner with its AI advances and take on Google on an even playing field.

AI might not give Bing the lifeline it needs

Bing color shifted to red

(Image credit: Future)

If recent AI trends are anything to go by, then Microsoft might consider not placing all its eggs in one AI basket. Recent reports show that ChatGPT's user base has been declining steadily in the past few months, with several users indicating that it is getting dumber.

Elsewhere, another report indicated that Microsoft's Bing market share has been stagnant despite the company's heavy investment in AI technology. 

Do you think AI will give Microsoft the edge it needs to compete against Google? Share your thoughts with us in the comments. 

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.