Edwin Perello discovered that Bing, the Microsoft search engine, could find addresses in his rural Indiana town when Google could not. Laura Michelson, an administrative assistant in San Francisco, was lured by Bing’s flight fare tracker. Paul Callan, a photography buff in Chicago, fell for Bing’s vivid background images.
When Microsoft introduced it last year, Bing made a splash with its vivid background images. In June, Google presented searchers the option of a colorful background rather than the stark, white page.
Like most Americans, they still use Google as their main search tool. But more often, they find themselves navigating to Microsoft’s year-old Bing for certain tasks, and sometimes they stay a while.
“I was a Google user before, but the more I used Bing the more I liked it,” Mr. Callan said. “It’s more like muscle memory takes me to Google.”
Bing still handles a small slice of Web searches in the United States, 12.7 percent in June, compared with Google’s 62.6 percent, as measured by comScore, the Web analytics firm. But Bing’s share has been growing, as has Yahoo’s, while Google’s has been shrinking.