Microsoft's move to boost Bing's social networking feaures could finally give it an opportunity to truly take on Google's dominant search engine, analysts say.
The updated Bing search engine, unveiled on Thursday, can now include the user comments, likes and activities posted in popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, agreed with Microsoft's contention that the redesign is "the most significant since Microsoft launched Bing three years ago."
Since Microsoft first launched Bing in the summer of 2009, the company faced a daunting task in taking on Google's dominant search engine.
And Google has remained dominant. Despite all of Microsoft's efforts, including an upgrade in 2011, Bing simply hasn't been able to take a significant bite out of Google's market share.
Now, Microsoft is hoping that its social search capabilities can become thegame-changer the company needs in the battle against Google.
Because it has its own growing social network, Google+, Google is at a disadvantage when trying to work with widely used offerings like Facebook and Twitter, analysts noted.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has strong relationships with both companies.
"Google needs to play more openly with Facebook as well as other social networking destinations, like Pinterest, Quora, Twitter and FourSquare," said Shimmin. "Google cannot afford to close its borders in defense of in-house solutions."