Microsoft Reveals New Bing Search Engine
Microsoft unveils its new search engine, Bing, which previously had been code-named Kumo, at the seventh annual D: All Things Digital Conference. Bing is designed to organize results and display particularly relevant information on the search page for certain types of queries. Despite Google's lead in search-engine market share, Microsoft hopes that a new and improved search experience will translate into a greater piece of the online search pie.Microsoft announced the release of its new search engine, Bing, at the seventh annual D: All Things Digital conference in California May 28.
Early views of the search engine, when it was still code-named Kumo, suggested that it would organize search results by grouping them into subcategories. Anyone doing a search of "Audi S8," therefore, would receive subcategories such as "Audi S8 Parts," "Used Audi S8," and "Top images for Audi S8." The implication was that this would lead to faster searches than the traditional search-engine pages of ungrouped hyperlinks.
Even as the company touted the new search engine, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer attempted to downplay search's role in the company's overall strategy, stating during an interview at the seventh annual D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, Calif., that "I spend more of my time on talent, than trying to be 'the search guy.'" With regard to the new search engine's name, Ballmer said, according to a transcript from the event: "I'm not the creative guy, here .... short mattered ... people like to 'verb up' ... works globally, doesn't have negative connotations." "It's not a substitute for innovation, but we need to build brand equity in addition to technology equity," Ballmer added, according to the transcript. The company plans to deploy Bing, which will be located at Bing.com, worldwide on June 3.
Some analysts feel that the release of Bing could help improve Microsoft's search-related financials. "Today most advertisers buy search ads just with Google and Yahoo because Microsoft has a measly...share of searches - not enough reach to make buying search ads with MS worth the trouble," Shar VanBoskirk, an analyst with Forrester, wrote in a May 28 posting on the Forrester Blog for Interactive Marketing Professionals. "Forrester expects Bing to change that." Microsoft has been aggressively battling to wrest the lead in U.S. core search away from Google, which claimed 64.2 percent of the market in April 2009, according to a ComScore report. That same report had Yahoo claiming 20.4 percent market-share, followed by Microsoft with 8.2 percent.
Microsoft attempted a $47.5 billion hostile buyout of Yahoo in 2008, but was denied by Yahoo's then-CEO Jerry Yang. However, reports have suggested Microsoft resumed talks for some sort of partnership with current Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, who said in a May 27 interview at the D: All Things Digital conference that she would consider selling Microsoft her company's search apparatus for "boatloads" of money.