Microsoft has officially chosen the name “Bing” for it’s new search engine.
Cheers rise up from the crowds…glitter and confetti fall from the heavens…Microsoft is welcomed as the new leader in online search engines because they turned theirs into a decision engine.
Wait, that’s not happening?
Sure - the general public doesn’t have access to Bing yet. It looks like it’ll be about June 3 before we can “Bing it” instead of just Googling it.
We aren’t going to go over what Bing is. Search Engine Land has already done that extensively, and they’ve done a great job.
Instead, this is a look at what Bing isn’t.
We can state the obvious, just like SEL did: Bing is not a Google killer.
While it’s unlikely that Microsoft will flop like Cuil and Wolfram Alpha have, it’s doubtful the Redmond-based company will gain much on industry leader Google.
Why? Well as Josh Bernoff stated on Adage, Bing has to be better and qualitatively different. From what we’ve seen so far, it isn’t.
There are some nice features in Bing like the IP-based localization of the search results. If you simply did a search for the latest Pixar movie, Bing looks like it will give you the show times for the movie in your area at the top of the results. That’s pretty neat.
Bing also looks like it will include a little more media on the front page of its search engine results page than Google.
But will that tear away the Google faithful? Will the reported $80 million marketing campaign do the job? Can they really catch up with Google?
In short, no.
Yahoo will probably fare the worst in terms of search engine market share. Maybe that is Microsoft’s plan. A Microsoft-Yahoo partnership would still probably be the best thing for a real Google competitor.
Aside from people stopping by to give Bing a try, Google will probably remain the main search engine for most users. It helps that Firefox uses Google as the default.
ZDNet did a great article about Bing, including 10 burning questions you might have about the new “decision engine”. The two that jumped out at me are “Is Bing the right brand?” and “Will Bing be differentiated enough to woo new users?” No, and No.
We wrote before that for Microsoft to truly gain market share against Google, they would need to amaze us and come up with something completely revolutionary.
Bing needs to be a fully social media integrated interface, with a search engine built into a much larger online system. Simply rebranding and retooling MSN and Live Search will not do to compete with Google.
Maybe Microsoft is still angling for a partnership or purchase of Yahoo. I know those 850 million cell phone users that Yahoo has access to are still pretty attractive to Microsoft.
I suppose on June 3 or 4, I’ll head over to Bing.com or whatever the final URL will be and play around with Microsoft’s new toy.
Then on June 5 when I’m looking for news about Major League Baseball, I’ll head to Google and get the latest scores.
By: Zack S.