Can Microsoft's Bing, or Anyone, Seriously Challenge Google?

Microsoft is spending massively on its new search business. Is Bing a better engine? Maybe. Can Google play defense? We may soon find out

Illustration by Dave Wheeler for TIME

Every year, the market-research firm Millward Brown conducts a survey to determine the economic worth of the world's brands — in other words, to put a dollar value on the many corporate logos that dominate our lives. Lately the firm's results have been stuck on repeat: Google has claimed the top spot for the past three years. The most recent report values Google's brand — those six happy letters that herald so many of our jaunts down the Web's rabbit hole — at more than $100 billion.

What's astonishing about this stat is how effortlessly Google seems to have earned the...

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