July 30, 2015

Will Microsoft own the research toolkit?

By Paul Laughlin

MS Bing for Market ResearchThis is big news.

Rarely have I shared just one news item as a post here on CIL, but I agree with GreenBook that Microsoft’s release of Pulse for Market Research is big news.

Potentially very disruptive for the plethora of survey & research software on the market, this free offering has the potential to have the kind of integration that enables ‘in house‘ research teams to work differently.

The best way for me to share more is to encourage you to read this article from the excellent GreenBook research blog. Leonard Murphy, who certainly understands good research practice, helpfully summarises four reasons why this release matters:

  • Further disruption from big tech-players to research data collection
  • Path to integrate with Office/Windows/Xbox/Skype etc
  • Potential to integrate with SurveyMonkey/SalesForce/Qualtrics
  • Further “democratisation” of research (which is also a risk)


I would just add that the combination of Microsoft brand and being provided free for download, will probably accelerate take-up within businesses.

Offering real-time surveying, moderation, sentiment tracking & group/community facilitation tools; this should at least be considered by ‘in house’ research teams. I suspect Leonard is right that this further sounds the coming end for the research industry owning data collection. Hopefully progressive agencies will focus on the benefits of working with industry standard tools like this to help businesses optimally design their research, interpret & communicate the results. That is where the value-add will lie in future.

At the very least, this release and pricing strategy from Microsoft should provoke an interesting time in the research toolkits market. Keep a watch-out for options.

For the sake of completeness and to avoid potential bias. Here are some articles on research tools already launched by other tech companies:

1. Google Consumer Surveys:


2. Twitter “everyday moments” tool:

Twitter’s new research tool highlights ‘everyday’ moments


3. Facebook research tools:


What do you think? Are you planning to download Pulse for Market Research and give it a go? Please let us know how you get on.