Friday, 29 May 2009

Well, did you evah? Microsoft new search is called Bing

(By Richard Holway 7.00am 29th May 09) Yesterday Steve Ballmer unveiled Microsoft's new search feature. He named it Bing. We are unsure why. Being of a 'certain age' it immediately brought images of Bing Crosby crooning "White Christmas". Microsoft said that things like the availability of the URL and the ability to 'verb up' (Ballmer's term, not mine) were important. I suppose it's better than Live Search and MSN Search (which it replaces). It ranks alongside Zune as a brand that just doesn't do it for me.

So will we all "Bing it"?

There are already more reviews of Bing than any healthy person should consume. Start with the Guardian's 'Review of the Reviews"

The problem is that Microsoft is a poor third in search as we outlined in Searching to break Google's stranglehold on search earlier this week. Bing might well be better than Google but Google is 'good enough' and the inertia not to change is huge. Google are not daft either. If there are some nice new features in Bing, you can bet your life they will find their way into Google before long.

To be fair, even Ballmer thinks it's going to be a long road. He could "Acc-cent-u-ate the positive" and boost Microsoft's share of search by 50%. But Microsoft would still have only 12% of the market compared with Google's current 64% share.

Perhaps Ballmer should have saved his time and the millions spent on the relaunch and just "Gone fishing"? Actually that would have been a very good name for a search engine!

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