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Microsoft Rebrands Live Search As "Bing" 443

Posted by timothy
from the after-sherlock-holmes'-more-obscure-brother dept.
JacobSteelsmith writes "Microsoft is attempting to re-brand its Live Search, also known as Kumo. Bing, as it's known, is another attempt by Microsoft to lure consumers away from Internet search leaders such as Google. Microsoft has posted a quarterly loss in its online advertising business, compared to Google's sales, $4.7 billion in the first quarter. According to the Live Search blog, Bing goes 'beyond the traditional search engines to help you make faster, more informed decisions' by combining a 'great search engine' with organized results. It also adds unique tools to help the user make important decisions. It is being touted as a 'decision engine.'"
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Microsoft Rebrands Live Search As "Bing"

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  • Hmmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by skrolle2 (844387) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:02PM (#28125613)

    "Here, let me bing that for you."

    Hmmmm... No.

  • by harryandthehenderson (1559721) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:04PM (#28125651)
    So what's the new branding going to be after this one fails? Bong?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:12PM (#28125811)

      Yes, on a web site focused on FOSS the readership will now complain about the name selected by Microsoft for their search engine.

      Some examples of the naming accumen of the FOSS crowd:
      - Ogg Vorbis
      - Gimp
      - Apache
      - IceWeasel
      - Thunderbird
      - X
      - Gnome
      - Prefacing thousands of KDE apps with K
      - Gnu
      - A thousand other recursive acronyms
      - etc etc etc

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by eldavojohn (898314) *

      So what's the new branding going to be after this one fails? Bong?

      Nah, I think it's going to be "Bang" so that sentences like this happen:

      "I couldn't find the answer in my textbook so I Banged it."

    • by MeanMF (631837) *
      Did you just disrespect the Bing? I would keep an eye out for Tony Soprano if I were you.
    • by Amazing Quantum Man (458715) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:25PM (#28126011) Homepage

      <VOICE type="Chandler Bing">
      Could this branding be any more lame?
      </VOICE>

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ILikeRed (141848)
      No, but I predict people will start pronouncing it as "Bung". As in:

      I went to google the answer, but this damn computer has the wrong search installed and my question went down the bung hole!

      I love how the live desktop search tells you everything install chronologically after it is going to stop functioning if you remove the MS search. Well, maybe bung will finally let you find answers to technical issues half as well as google search - then MS might be able to bribe some more people to play with it's b
    • by flibuste (523578) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:28PM (#28126071)
      Hum...Let' see..
      • 1 - Make crappy search engine.
      • 2 - Fail at taking over the world with crappy search engine
      • 3 - Rebrand crappy search engine with new look
      • 4 - ??????
      • 5 - PROFIT!!

      It's just that (4) isn't clear.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by s_p_oneil (795792)
        I think 3 was "Try to make people believe Google is a monopoly so we can sue them and then monopolize another market." That would make 4 the rebranding effort, and I would change the "!!" at the end of 5 to "??".
      • by dzfoo (772245) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:21PM (#28127049)

        Actualy it's:

        • 1 - Make crappy search engine.
        • 2 - Fail at taking over the world with crappy search engine
        • 3 - Rebrand crappy search engine with new look
        • 4 - Fail at taking over the world with crappy search engine with new look
        • 5 - Repeat step 3 at least twice
        • 6 - ???
        • 7 - PROFIT!!

        They're still in step 3.

                -dZ.

    • I know someone who works for Redmond's marketing team. If "Bing" fails, the next name will be "Squirt". It will be introduced by an expensive advertising campaign featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld. We'll see the "fun" side of Bill and the unfunny side of Jerry. At the end of each segment, Ballmer will burst through a wall, his face painted purple, screaming "OH YEAH!"

      • If "Bing" fails, the next name will be "Squirt".

        But won't that confuse the 2 owners of a Zune who have been squirting songs to each other?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jd2112 (1535857)

      So what's the new branding going to be after this one fails? Bong?

      Well, it would be popular with the stoner crowd..

  • by geekoid (135745)

    Cherry site, Dude.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:04PM (#28125659)

    This has Monty Python written all over it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kaki Nix Sain (124686)
      Here is the link for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arCITMfxvEc [youtube.com]
  • organized results (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Narpak (961733) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:05PM (#28125683)

    Bing goes 'beyond the traditional search engines to help you make faster, more informed decisions' by combining a 'great search engine' with organized results.

    Organized Results as in "higher rating the more you pay us"?

  • by rob1980 (941751) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:07PM (#28125717)
    Bing goes 'beyond the traditional search engines to help you make faster, more informed decisions' by combining a 'great search engine' with organized results.

    They change the search engine's name in an effort to draw a crowd, then they fuck it up by weighing it down with language that's awful damn close to the infinitely-scalable enterprise class web 2.0 productivity enhancement solution corporatespeak that makes people roll their eyes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hypnotik (11190)

      Uh. No, that language has been around since Windows 95, when they promised us that it was the "fastest, most secure version of Windows yet" and that everything we do "will be more fun!"

  • I thought it was "bling" but the cool factor was lost on me.
  • by jav1231 (539129) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:08PM (#28125731)
    Ned: "Guess who!"
    Phil: "Ned? Ned Ryerson?"
    Ned: "BING!"
    • by kelzer (83087) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:29PM (#28126083) Homepage

      Yup. Another example of that brilliant Microsoft marketing machine we've all heard about.

      I mean, when I think of cool and trendy, I think of Ned Ryerson. Wouldn't everyone want to buy insurance from that guy? Wouldn't everyone want him to do their searches?

      The truth is that Microsoft has never had much marketing ability. They just have tons of cash to throw at it, and they've always been good at leveraging monopoly power in one market to win the next. They leveraged their PC DOS monopoly to win the PC GUI environment market with Windows. They leveraged that to win the office suite market. They used their office suite dominance to wipe out Novell by giving big corporations huge Office discounts if they replaced their Novell servers with NT Server. They then leveraged NT Server's dominance to gain dominance in Back Office products like Exchange and IIS. Marketing has had little to do with their success. They of course also tied IE to Windows to thwart Netscape. And every time you installed a new copy of IE it defaulted to msn.com as the home page, otherwise MSN never would have had any market share. The list goes on and on.

      We finally come to search engines. Other than making Windows and/or IE default to using Live Search, or whatever it gets rebranded to, they really just don't have much power to tie it to any of the markets they currently dominate.

      Guess only time will tell, but I'll be amazed if they gain more than a percent or two from Google in the search market, because I can't see any compelling reason to switch from what I've read so far.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Kagura (843695)

        They leveraged that to win the office suite market.

        They actually have a pretty kickass office suite. If there's one thing Microsoft does 99% well, it's Office.

    • by ILikeRed (141848)
      Punxsutawney Phil! Thank you, I was racking my brain for a reference I knew I was missing!
    • Honestly this is the first thing I thought of. The scary thing is, you can kind of tell this is trying to be a verb.

      That and "can I be any more Chandler"

      Can I be any more hopeless trying to catch google?

    • Groundhog's Day, one of my all time fave movies!

      And remember: "Don't drive angry!"

  • Give up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:08PM (#28125733)
    MS should seriously just stop trying to "improve" search engines. Its not profitable, labels you as a "Google clone", and unless you have some pretty neat features that can beat Google and iGoogle, you won't end up capturing any marketshare. Sure, there are some things that you could do with searching, such as desktop searches that aren't painfully slow that require tons of indexing, perhaps using algorithms to "guess" where files are placed? All that would be better for MS, but instead they go into the already saturated market with yet another search engine, how many do they have now? MSN, Live, and now Bing? Seriously, stop trying to be Google, you aren't and unless you happen to be really really good at what you do (and from past experiences in trying to be Google you aren't good at it) you won't get any marketshare despite how many ads you run and how many OEMs you bribe to set as the default homepage.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      That's kind of what microsoft does though--copy other ideas and then market them until they stick. Windows (copied from Mac, Amiga), Internet Explorer, the zune, heck even direct3D, you name it...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by noidentity (188756)

      MS should seriously just stop trying to "improve" search engines.

      They're trying to improve their profit, not their search engine. More users = more eyeballs = more advertising income.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      MS should seriously just stop trying to "improve" search engines. Its not profitable, labels you as a "Google clone", and unless you have some pretty neat features that can beat Google and iGoogle, you won't end up capturing any marketshare.

      This same attitude showed up in the Zune HD story. I find it an idiotic viewpoint. Because one company has done something really well, nobody else should try? Do you seriously want people to stop trying to compete and trying to one-up other companies, just because the existing product or service seems to be all you could ever want?

      You want things to stagnate?

      Granted, we know MS will fail. But suggesting that they shouldn't try seems positively idiotic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eulernet (1132389)

      how many OEMs you bribe to set as the default homepage.

      I bet the most searched word on Bing will be "Google", since clueless users search for their search engine, rather than configure correctly their IE browser.

  • by DavidR1991 (1047748) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:09PM (#28125755) Homepage

    ...because the video shows a big image/background at the top. That's great, but part of the other reason Google is the leader (other than the results it produces) is the fact the page is a no-nonsense zone - sure, you've got the Google logo, but other than that, the page consists nearly entirely of blank space, or text/links. No stupid pointless pictures, no needless button images. It's fast, and it works. Once 'Bing' gets up to capacity though, I reckon it'll be dog slow, because it has useless decor. The search engine isn't the destination: So why the pointless crap?

  • I love the meetings that result in this kind of dumb naming. Someone goes through the trouble of creating really nice presentations, hyping up how he has this new ideas and then forces us to attend at 9am Monday morning. 30mins later the uncreative bastards forced to sit through it all agree how awesome it is but somewhere in their dull brains are going "he is serious with this crap?". It eventually gets marketed to world and nobody buys it, sigh.

  • The name has been changed to protect the guilty.

  • B.I.N.G.? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:11PM (#28125799)

    Bing Is Not Google

  • Terminology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mmkkbb (816035) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:13PM (#28125819) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft may have posted a quarterly loss, but comparing that with 4.7 billion dollars of gross revenue doesn't even make sense. Did Google make a profit on that 4.7 billion and how much? That's the important question, and none of the press releases linked here have an answer.

  • cashback? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:13PM (#28125827) Journal

    According to the Why Bing [decisionengine.com] page:

    And features like cashback, where we actually give you money back on great products, and
    Price Predictor, which actually tells you when to buy an airline ticket in order to help get you
    the best price -- help you make smarter decisions, and put money back in your pocket.

    The price predictor thing sound kinda cool (though pretty easy to clone).

    But giving money back on "great products?" Is that like discounts on MS software, or some other silly gimmick? Smells faintly like desperation, that does. I guess we'll see.

    • by Quothz (683368)

      The price predictor thing sound kinda cool (though pretty easy to clone).

      "Easy to clone" is why they're offering it. There's a number of places on the 'Net offering this service, some of which have been doing so for years. This isn't innovation, it's renovation.

    • The price predictor thing sound kinda cool (though pretty easy to clone).

      Yes, as in they have cloned the functionality of sites like Priceline.com.

      • I was picturing it working like, "I'm looking to fly to Missouri in September. When should I buy tickets so I'm likely to get the best prices, all things considered." Does Priceline do that? ( I honestly don't know, I don't it).

    • I think it's much more trivial than that.

      "Live Search" was a sucky name, because you can't make a decent verb out of it. You google stuff, but you don't "lively search" it, or whatever. But you can bing it for sure...

      Then, of course, the fact that Bing Is Not Google is hardly a coincidence, either.

      Still, I'm not particularly fond of the name.

    • But giving money back on "great products?" Is that like discounts on MS software, or some other silly gimmick? Smells faintly like desperation, that does. I guess we'll see.

      It's called Live Search Cashback at the moment. That's the only time I've used Live Search. Last fall I bought $1600 bucks worth of stuff for $1200 thanks to 25% cashback on eBay "buy it now" purchases. If MS wants to help me buy expensive stuff, then more power to them. But yeah, it absolutely reeks of desperation on their part.
  • ...those who used to watch FRIENDS every Thursday night will get this joke. Others, you don't what fund you missed.

  • Bing! (Score:5, Funny)

    by spire3661 (1038968) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:18PM (#28125905) Journal

    Ned: Phil? Hey, Phil? Phil! Phil Connors? Phil Connors, I thought that was you!
    Phil: Hi, how you doing? Thanks for watching.
    [Starts to walk away]
    Ned: Hey, hey! Now, don't you tell me you don't remember me because I sure as heckfire remember you.
    Phil: Not a chance.
    Ned: Ned... Ryerson. "Needlenose Ned"? "Ned the Head"? C'mon, buddy. Case Western High. Ned Ryerson: I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show? Bing! Ned Ryerson: got the shingles real bad senior year, almost didn't graduate? Bing, again. Ned Ryerson: I dated your sister Mary Pat a couple times until you told me not to anymore? Well?
    Phil: Ned Ryerson?
    Ned: Bing!
    Phil: Bing.

  • "Bing" huh, it reminds me of the sound of a ricochet and than makes me think that using Microsoft's search is going to return results that'll bounce you all over the place and most likely, only to MS partners. After all, the most effective ricochets are those in confined spaces. Maybe the internal name is really "Bing bing bing, bing, bing bing, bing." Followed by a bunch of "$" signs.

    LoB

  • What's going on (Score:5, Informative)

    by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3@nOSPam.phroggy.com> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:24PM (#28126001) Homepage

    I'm a little confused, but as best I can figure out:

    Microsoft is developing a new search engine that will replace Live Search. The new engine was going to be called Kumo, but they've decided to call it Bing instead. It's still in development and not yet available to the public, but eventually it will be online at bing.com. Presumably, once Bing launches, live.com will redirect there. The search field on msn.com (which most IE users have set as their home page) will redirect there too.

    Since the new engine isn't available to the public and most people weren't aware that it was going to be called Kumo, this rebranding is a complete non-story.

  • "Biinnngg!" (with apologies to M. Python).

    Or, Bing ... o! It is certainly true that your search results are a gamble when you use Microsoft search.

    When will Ballmer and company stop throwing billions down this rathole and acknowledge that Google has soundly kicked their ass?

  • One of the examples in the video was searching for a flight/hotel/etc.. Is Bing trying to compete with existing travel sites? Can a general search/decision engine outperform a dedicated travel site? Is Bing going to be a threat to travel sites?

    Who decides how the decision engine decides? How are the result categories created? Are there a lot of MS employees creating categories based on typical search queries? Will users be able to create or suggest categories?

    Will there be Bing specific HTML tags th

  • Really google serves all my needs pretty well and I can't imagine using anything else everyday. There is a new search engine called topsy.com and it seems pretty cool but it seems more directed towards tweets, blogs, forums, etc..

  • Good god the introductory video is annoying. 95% of it consists of an actual video recording a screen and looks horrible: why on earth didn't they use a screen-capturing program? The other 5% is made up of a woman frowning at said screen to tell the viewer what's bad about all other search engines.

    The page design is strange; no overt MS branding anywhere. It's almost as if they don't want you to know...
    • To top it off, the video doesn't really show anything that exciting or innovative. There have been a number of search services over the years that tried to organize results, and I don't know if any of them are still around (because I never switched to using them).

      Microsoft always seems to come up with ideas it believes will enhance the user experience, but their track record in that area is poor. I've been using Office 2007 for over a year now, and I still run into brick walls where it takes me time to f
  • trademark pending
  • Long-term pattern (Score:5, Interesting)

    by psydeshow (154300) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:43PM (#28126335) Homepage

    Among Microsoft's many problems as a company is that they seem to systematically change the names of their products every few years. This is an incredibly wasteful policy. Every time they enact one of these name changes they:

        - throw out years' worth of marketing effort
        - break documentation and references throughout their website
        - break third-party web resources, including howtos, forum advice, and other forms of community support
        - force everyone who has to support the product to change all of their references, documentation, marketing, etc.

    Why MS shareholders and partners don't see name churn as having a real, damaging impact on the company's long-term success is beyond me.

  • by Frag-A-Muffin (5490) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:57PM (#28126603) Homepage

    How many millions (billions?!) do they spend on marketing and branding. If I paid that much, and all they came up with was Zune, Squirt and Bing .. I'd be pissed and would want a refund.

  • There's already another tech company, Terabyte Unlimited, using that moniker as shorthand for their boot manager product, BootIt Next Generation. If they've trademarked the abbreviation as well as the full name, they might wind up suing Microsoft over their use of it.

    It's an utterly stupid and non-descriptive name for a search engine, anyway.

  • Hotels in Dublin (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:06PM (#28126729)
    Of course I didn't RTFA, but I did visit bing.com to watch a promotional video - which surprising enough wasn't done in Silverlight. Two things about this promotional video really stuck out about how bad Microsoft really wants to be Google.

    The first thing that struck me was the name. Over time Google's name has become a verb, you can "Google It" (tm) for yourself. So Microsoft innovates the only way they know how by scheduling a series of marketing meetings for their droids to come up with a name that out-verbs the competition. "Bing" there you have it, an uninspired and pathetic attempt to squeeze a brand name into our common vernacular.

    The second thing that really caught my attention in the video was the first search they show. While the narrator goes on about revolutionary new ways to search the internet, he pulls up Bing to search for "Hotels in Dublin" - a natural way to search for hotels near Dublin that Google implemented into their mapping engine years ago. Just as the search itself was ripped off from Google, so are the results. A map of Dublin pops up with a number of icons, each representing a hotel exactly as Google did... years ago.

    Bing's marketing narrator continues on about these "new ways to search" that feel so familiar, and well, old. I'm not convinced they have anything new to offer, but maybe if they keep saying "Bing" enough they will at least convince themselves. I think the only people who will "Bing" anything in the near future are the same ones who have always used Live Search simply because it was available by default.
  • CROSBY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by baomike (143457) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:08PM (#28126797)

    not the town in North Dakota.
    For my generation Bing is followed by Crosby.

    I am sure the people at MSFT are to young to have that association,

  • Bing? Bing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by argent (18001) <peter.slashdot@2006@taronga@com> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:25PM (#28127117) Homepage Journal

    Holy mother of marketing. They'd do better calling it "Microsoft Bling", at least it'd sound like something someone might actually want to use. This may be the worst product name since Bob.

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