BING it on! Microsoft’s ‘decision engine’
“Hang on one second and I’ll just Bing it!”… no, it doesn’t sound very likely does it? Having criticized MSN/Live Search for lacking a brand name that rolls off the tongue, it would appear that Microsoft reached for the scrabble set, threw it in the air and picked whatever tile combination landed at their feet.
From a marketing point of view – how do you get people to use Microsoft Live Search, or MSN? Those names just cannot enter the publics imagination in the way that Google has. MSN is probably too strongly identified with Instant Messaging and ‘Live Search’ isn’t something likely to get used in conversation. Google has become a verb, Google defines what a web search is, and while ‘Bing’ is probably an attempt at addressing this issue, it just sounds terrible.
The most puzzling thing about Microsoft and the web, is that there doesn’t seem to be a strategy, with search sites seemingly abandoned quickly after hoping that setting it as the default engine in IE is enough to steal the market share from Google. It won’t. Google is the dominant search player because it delivers relevant results. It appeared at a time when alternative search engines were increasingly being overloaded by spammy results and creeping functionality led to unbearable homepages. Anyone remember Yahoo from a few years ago? An incredibly busy homepage with links to features and content that the vast majority of users didn’t need. Then came this new site which just had a search box, delivered relevant results in a clean uncluttered way.
So uncluttered in fact that if you dressed up identical search results and branded them up as Google, Yahoo and Live Search respectively, users believed that Google delivered the more relevant results.
The Register’s analysis is an interesting read, particularly when it talks about Microsoft’s decision to label Bing as a ‘decision engine’.