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Microsoft's Bing makes early gains: study

A sign hangs at the Microsoft booth at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada in this January 9, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is making early gains on Internet search leaders Google Inc and Yahoo Inc with its Bing search engine that launched last week, according to industry data firm comScore.

Bing, which had its full launch last Wednesday but was available to some for a few days before that, took 11.1 percent of U.S. Internet searches between Tuesday and Saturday, comScore said, up from 9.1 percent in the comparable period the week before.

“These initial data suggest that Microsoft Bing has generated early interest, resulting in a spike in search engagement and an immediate term improvement to Microsoft’s position in the search market,” Mike Hurt, comScore senior vice president, said in a statement.

He said Bing was off to a good start, but it remains to be seen if Microsoft can entice more users to the service with its big marketing campaign and hang onto them.

Microsoft’s Bing has lots of ground to make up. In April, the last full month for which figures are available, Microsoft’s sites took 8.2 percent of U.S. Internet searches, trailing Yahoo with 20.4 percent and Google with 64.2 percent.

Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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