Search Engine Competition: Microsoft to Plunge into Korea’s Search Engine Market in H2 This Year | BusinessKorea

Thursday, January 18, 2018

1 July 2014 - 12:07pm

Microsoft announced its full-fledged plunge into the domestic Internet search engine market in the second half of this year. This is the third challenge following Yahoo and Google that have fallen short of local portals in the domestic market. Along with Microsoft, the merged company of Daum and Kakao, which is to be launched in October, is expected to blow the winds of change into the local market.

According to the industry on May 30, Microsoft Korea plans to knuckle down with its own search engine service “Bing” in the domestic market later this year.

Microsoft released Bing, combining a live search technology developed in 2009 and a power search technology obtained from a merger in 2009. At the time, Microsoft launched the service centering on the U.S., while releasing only a beta version in South Korea.

Although it was a beta version, it was expected to put up a good fight in the local market due to Microsoft’s dominant Windows power. However, Bing ceased to advance beyond generating some rather lackluster search results through cooperation with Daum Communications, showing little presence for the last five years.

According to the industry, Microsoft Korea plans to strengthen its cooperation with Daum Communications while boosting its own Bing service. Microsoft has been preparing its crucial “News” category in cooperation with domestic journals, producing a new title to its name - “Bing News.” It also unveiled the plan to expand partnerships with various domestic companies for diverse services including videos and images. Microsoft Korea established a partnership with Daum for search ads in April last year, denoting its entrance into the domestic search ad market.

The industry is convinced that Microsoft Korea’s new launch five years after the release of its beta is relevant to the move in Microsoft headquarters.

Bing has yet only achieved a mere 10 percent share even in the U.S. market. The primary focus of Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella at the beginning of this year has been on reviving Bing by designating it as a new growth engine.

After Nadella took office at Microsoft, Bing’s search ad sales jumped up to 38 percent in the first quarter compared to last year. He is initiating promotion of Bing through cheaper-priced “Windows 8.1 with Bing,” a Windows with built-in Bing service. Bing, which has targeted the U.S. market, is now extending rapidly throughout the world.

It draws attention about whether Microsoft’s venture would cause any change in the calm domestic search engine market. All the while, global search engine companies such as Yahoo and Google stood for a challenge in the local market, only to lose out to domestic companies.

Nonetheless, the local search engine market, which has been dominated by Naver since the mid-2000s, is anticipated to undergo some changes with newcomers such as Microsoft and Daum-Kakao joining the competition.


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