Bing Pushes Google Into Innovation War

New features coming fast and furious
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2010 8:01 AM CDT
Vendor Patrick Porter works on a laptop marked with the logo for Bing, Microsoft's recently upgraded search engine, in a cafeteria at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., Wednesday, July 29, 2009.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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(Newser) – Google has been adding features lately—like its new side navigation, revamped image search, and customizable background image—that look an awful lot like ideas nabbed from Bing, the New York Times observes. Though Bing still has a mere 12.7% of the search market, compared to Google’s 62.6%, it appears to be pushing its bigger competitor to innovate. “There is a cold war going on,” says one analyst. “Bing’s competition is forcing Google to try and catch up.”

Bing, for example, will compare airline prices for customers, and predict whether they’ll go up or down. That lead a jealous Google to buy ITA Software, which has similar technology, for $700 million. Google says many of its new features were planned before Microsoft got into the game. But “certainly, there’s been more competition in the space,” concedes one VP. “When there’s more competition, everyone’s search gets better.”

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