Five Years Later, Ex-Farecast Founder Asks “What Is Bing Doing?”

bing-logoOren Etzioni, the founder of Farecast who sold it to Microsoft in 2008, says he’s “disappointed” with Bing’s development and “expected more” from Microsoft’s search engine.

As Geekwire reports, Etzioni made his comments to an audience last night at a Startup Grind event in Seattle.

“What is Bing doing, period? So many smart people, so many resources. What have they rolled out that makes a difference?”

Geekwire says he backtracked a bit in an interview afterwards:

“It’s fair to say that I would have expected more [from Bing] during the past few years. I am disappointed with, given how many smart people are there, how little has come out and I’m hoping that [with] the new re-org [it] will make a difference.”

Etzioni, who’s now a computer science professor at the University of Washington, added that he thinks Microsoft/Bing needs “faster processes” for pushing out new products and services. (Indeed, as any Search Engine Land reader would recognize, Google is far more active in launching new search-related products and tools.)

Still, Bing continues to slowly gain market share. According to the latest comScore figures, Bing hit an all-time high with 17.9 percent of core U.S. searches in June 2013. But that’s still only about one-quarter of Google’s core search share.

Microsoft has taken Etzioni’s Farecast service and turned it into what is now Bing Travel.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Microsoft: Bing


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Michael Martinez

    I don’t think Steve Ballmer was trying to “make a difference”. He just wanted a larger slice of the search-driven advertising pie. He got that. He just needs to make it profitable, now.

  • Steve

    What the heck was he expecting?!?… it’s a search engine for crying out loud. Maybe he was expecting Bing to create a search engine that could read peoples’ minds???

  • ScottyMack

    If I were one of these major search engines, rather than putting on things like “The Bing Challenge,” I’d be continually asking people for suggestions on how they can improve – something I NEVER see a search engine do. You want more people using you? Ask them what they want and then give it to them! (Personally, if you filtered the results to only have one instance of any domain per search, I’d use you every single time!)

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