The term “googling” is synonymous with searching for things online. For years, Google has enjoyed a monopoly on search, advertising, and other facets of internet life. As Yahoo! fades into the ether and Microsoft’s Bing exists but isn’t used much (who says “binging” or “bing it”?), we are starting to see competition heat up in the search space are decades of Google dominance.
The threat to Google is ironically coming from Microsoft.
In 2019, Microsoft invested $1b into OpenAI and another $10b into OpenAI in January 2023. That’s a serious chunk of change to invest in an economic climate of high-interest rates, layoffs in tech and other uncertainty.
When OpenAI debuted ChatGPT in late 2022, it was a surprising hit—taking just two months to reach 100 million active users. The kind of fear that other companies took years to achieve (TikTok being the exception at nine months).
Suddenly, the success and hype around ChatGPT were starting to look good for Microsoft’s initial investment. But things didn’t end there.
And then Microsoft threw down the gauntlets again when it announced it was integrating ChatGPT into its Bing search engine. Not only was the integrated version of ChatGPT more advanced when Microsoft debuted it, but it could also recommend search results and act as an assistant.
Google was left with an egg on its face. They subsequently announced their own search-assisted AI called Bard. But, when it came time to demo it, it turns out the information in the demo wasn’t accurate and so came tumbling down the share price for Google.
It appears that Google is being challenged in its own kingdom by Microsoft of all companies. AI is shaping up to disrupt traditional industries as we know them.