Microsoft has announced that they are going to start charging for their Bing Search API platform.
The service is currently free which enable developers to use it in their own products.
Microsoft said that they expect the prices to start at around USD 40 per month for up to 20,000 queries each month.
The company added:
With the transition, Bing Search API developers will have access to fresher results, improved relevancy, and more opportunities to monetize their usage of the Search API. To offer these services at scale, we plan to move to a monthly subscription model. Developers can expect subscription pricing to start at approximately $40 (USD) per month for up to 20,000 queries each month.
The transition will begin in several weeks and will take a few months to complete. During the transition period, developers will be encouraged to try the Bing Search API for free on the Windows Azure Marketplace, before we begin charging for the service.
At this time, you can continue using Bing Search API 2.0 free of charge. After the transition period, Bing Search API 2.0 will no longer be available for free public use, and instead developers can continue accessing the API on the Windows Azure Marketplace.