Could/should Apple buy Bing, turn it into 'iSearch'?

A couple of years ago Stephen Elop — the executive vice president of the Microsoft Devices Group business unit until June 17 2015 — hinted that the company would consider ending Microsoft’s costly effort to take on Google with its Bing search engine, and would also consider selling healthy businesses such as the Xbox game console if he determined they weren’t critical to the company’s strategy.”

Of course, that didn’t happen. However, if Microsoft were to sell Bing, Charles Moore, writing for Technology Tell made an interesting point that Apple should consider buying Bing if it ever went on sale.

"Apple has proven over and over that it can make handsome profits in market sectors and categories where Microsoft has failed to do so," he writes. "With its famous cash hoard, Apple would presumably have no difficulty purchasing Bing should Microsoft put it on the market. It would be fascinating to watch what Apple could do with what is already an excellent search engine, perhaps renamed 'iSearch'." 

If Apple decided to purchase Bing, it certainly wouldn’t be a profitable venture at first. For example, in Microsoft’s 2013 fiscal year, the online services unit that housed Bing reported $3 billion revenue. That's up from $2.8 billion in 2012, but Microsoft still lost $1.2 billion on the service.

Of course, with Bing/iSearch as the default search engine on all of the iOS and OS X devices being sold, its profitability could quickly increase. And Bing is now the default search engine for Siri, so there is at least some interest in it from Apple.

Of course, that's assuming Microsoft actually would sell Bing. If so, Apple should at least consider the possibility of purchasing it.

The Apple iSearch image is courtesy of PC Mag.