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Microsoft’s biggest gamble is finally making money

Microsoft Holds Annual Shareholder MeetingMicrosoft Holds Annual Shareholder Meeting
Microsoft CFO Amy Hood.Photograph by Stephen Brashear — Getty Images

Microsoft’s search engine Bing is finally profitable.

“Search revenue increased to more than $1 billion this quarter,” Amy Hood, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Chief Financial Officer said in an earnings call with analysts Thursday. “And we passed an important milestone as our search business reached profitability.”

Bing was launched in 2009, and it quickly won the title of second most-used search engine behind Google (GOOG). But for many years the search engine bled money for Microsoft as it invested in data centers, employees, and expensive marketing campaigns to help it become competitive with rivals like Google. Those investments are now paying off and Hood said she “expects Bing’s strong trajectory to continue, remaining profitable for the remainder of the year.”