Microsoft Launches Bing Deals

Microsoft has just launched Bing Deals, a search engine that will allow users to search for daily deals from across 200,000 offerings across 14,000 cities and towns in US. Instead of launching a daily deals site of its own, or trying to acquire one - like Google did, Microsoft approach with Bing Deals is to aggregate daily deals on offer at daily deal sites such as Groupon, Living Social and scores of other competitors.

Bing Deals Microsoft has just launched Bing Deals, a search engine that will allow users to search for daily deals from across 200,000 offerings across 14,000 cities and towns in US. Instead of launching a daily deals site of its own, or trying to acquire one – like Google did, Microsoft approach with Bing Deals is to aggregate daily deals on offer at daily deal sites such as Groupon, Living Social and scores of other competitors.

Microsoft has launched the service in collaboration with The Dealmap, a daily deal search engine. So in essence, Microsoft will be taking up deals from deal sites and comparative analysis from Dealmap to serve up on its search engine. Talking about the partnership, Andy Chu, Director of Product Management said:

Instead of creating our own program, we’ve partnered with The Dealmap, to launch Bing deals. Bing’s mission is to help you cut through the clutter of the Web to make decisions more quickly – whether that’s through our own innovations or by teaming up with industry experts. The Dealmap is a leading source for people to find and share the best local deals, so naturally it made sense for us to team up with them to bring you the best experience.

Bing Deals has been rolled out for both web and mobile users of Bing Search. On the mobile devices such as iPhone and Android, users will be able to see Bing Deals as a link on their browsers. Once on the site, users will be able to quickly scroll through the currently running deals in their metro and can also find the deals on offer in their near-by vicinity.

The daily deals market has started to really heat up lately. BIA/Kelsey, has just published a research report predicting that the daily deals market will soar to as much as $3.9 billion by 2015, up from $873 million in 2010. However, the estimates seem to be quiet conservative given the fact that Groupon racked in $760 million in revenues in 2010, and Living Social – the runner up in the race, is now reporting $1 million in revenues per day.

And this is just the little guys. The big players haven’t entered the market yet, but let there be no doubt that they will do so. Google is gearing up to enter the market with an offering of its own, after it failed to acquire Groupon for a whopping $6 billion. Facebook on the other hand is testing deals in some form and now reports are surfacing that even the old media player like the New York Times is planning to launch a Groupon-clone.

Once the big guys jump into the bandwagon in a meaningful way, the revenue estimates for daily deals will likely shoot up.

However, Microsoft’s move to become an aggregator of daily deals, rather than trying to battle it out for a piece of the pie with everyone else – would mean that deals will now have to compete with deals. This would result in eroding profits and declining valuations of sites like Groupon.

Given all this hindsight, it would be really interesting to know what Groupon thinks of the Google offer now.