Microsoft Relevant Products/Services's new search service, Bing, has hit the Internet with a bang. The search engine made available on May 28 has surpassed Yahoo search in its first week, according to StatCounter Global Status, an Internet research firm that tracks page loads.

Its Internet traffic has made Bing number two on the list of top search engines in the U.S. and worldwide. In the U.S., Bing passed Yahoo on Thursday for second place with 16.28 percent of the market, while Yahoo dropped to third with 10.22 percent.

Microsoft brought Bing to the search-engine table to solve several problems it found with search, including a report that said 30 percent of searches are abandoned without a satisfactory result.

Sustaining Number Two

Bing uses features such as Best Match to find the best answer for a search, Deep Links to give searchers information on what a Web site offers, and Quick Preview, an additional window that expands over a search caption to give users more information about the site's relevancy. The search engine also incorporates Instant Answers, a feature designed to provide information within the body of the search-results page.

Google still dominates the U.S. search market with 71.47 percent, according to StatCounter. Globally, Bing has taken a smaller lead over Yahoo at 5.62 percent, while Yahoo has 5.13 percent and Google 87.62 percent.

"It is big news and is a big change," said Aodhan Cullen, chief executive of StatCounter, from his office in Ireland. "Bing just came on a few days ago and has taken the number-two slot both in the U.S. and worldwide."

While Bing began its leap from day one with 2.07 percent, then climbed to 3.65 percent, it did drop off on its third day to 3.46 percent. As of Thursday, however, Bing regained its footing and had 5.56 percent of the market, leaping past Yahoo.

Cullen said the company has plans to closely monitor the progression of Bing to see if the search engine, or "decision engine," can sustain its number-two spot.

"It looks promising at the moment," he added. "I definitely thought it would have taken a little longer for them to achieve this."

A Demand For Choice

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said Microsoft's plan is to make Bing the second-biggest search engine within five years. If Bing can sustain the number-two slot, the company would have achieved its goal four years earlier than expected.

With more than 80 percent of the market worldwide and more than 70 percent in the U.S., Google is obviously the dominant search player.

"Obviously Google is hugely dominating, but there is a demand for an alternative search engine to use," Cullen said. "In any industry it is not good to have one dominant player, and it is better for the industry and better for the market in general."