Bing, Microsoft's search engine, has been battling in the four years since launch to convince Internet users that it is worthy of their queries.
It has doubled its US share, from 8.9 to 17.9 percent in that time, according to ComScore, and it powers Yahoo search. But Bing hasn't been able to crack Google, which has remained the search king, with more than 65 percent US share.
With share comes more revenue, as well as more varied queries and click data to improve search engine results. But Microsoft's executives don't exhibit much of an inferiority complex, at least on the technical side.
"After many years of investment by the Bing team, our search quality is generally just as good as anyone else, if not better," Harry Shum, corporate vice president of Bing research and development, told CNET in an interview last week. He highlighted image search, which accounts for 10 percent of Bing queries, as an example where he contends that Microsoft does a better job than Google.