Like the shady guy in shop class said, the first one’s always free.
After launching its Bing API several years ago, the service had always been free for developers to implement data from the search engine into their own products. However, the company recently announced it will soon start charging for Bing API access.
Subscription prices start at $40 per month for 20,000 queries, though the company didn’t quote any figures for additional queries.
The company plans a transition to offer fresher results, improved relevancy and additional opportunities to monetize usage. The Bing Search API will continued to be offered for free during the transitional period on the Windows Azure Marketplace.
The free access had given the company an advantage over Google’s free custom search API, which limited daily queries to 100. Microsoft has waned in recent years as it has failed to capture the mobile market with its Windows Phones. The company looks to Windows 8 to kickstart its slowing relevancy, and is supposed to have the system on the market by the holiday season.
More and more companies are charging for API access. Google’s Translate API is now offered through a paid model. High volume users of Google’s Maps API are now charged for the service. If the company can manage value for its service, it could introduce new forms of revenue that could help it regain its footing as struggles to regain market dominance.