back to article Microsoft's Google challenger is not a search engine

Microsoft likes to take simple, everyday technologies and deliberately inflate them, making them seem greater than they really are. The benefits of Windows 95, Windows Vista, .NET, and every version of Office and its related "information worker" applications have been blown out of all proportion in their time. Microsoft can't …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bing yourself now!

    "I can't wait - really, I can't. I must stay up all night just to be the first to Bing myself."

    You don't have to wait to Bing yourself, all it takes is a box of kleenex, your right hand, and suitable visual material.

  2. Stevie Silver badge


    The existence of a "landscape" will limit this "Bing"'s market penetration?

    Well, against your Corel, OpenOffice and Linux I give you Netscape, *the* browser of choice when IE went live.

    Corel had a nice market. Doctors' offices and lawyers' offices seemed to run on their office suites for many years. But they failed to build to their target markets in any real way, with the result that in the end there really wasn't much difference between their word processor and Word.

    The failure of OpenOffice had more to do with it not coming close to being a replacement for MS Office than any "landscape", and in the development teams for it not putting in any real effort to deliver those functions. It simply didn't have features that non-geeks understood, needed and wanted to use (pivot tables for example).

    Linux on the desktop is an attractive idea, but impractical unless you know something about computers and are willing to mess around under the hood. This is far from a consumer-oriented product. How many toasters would you sell if every time you wanted to buy one you had to take the cover off it so you could set the line voltage, number of bread slices it would take and so forth? I'm eager for the day a Linux distribution passes that milestone, but none has yet.

    Each of the examples from the article is in fact a demonstration that if you seriously want to go up against a MS product you had better understand your market and play to its expectations rather than your own. MS plays this game very well.

    As for the connotations of "Bing", I thought of the old crooner rather than the younger loser. Why this is significant escapes me though.

    No, I don't necessarily think this Bing will be a Good Thing for Mankind. But it isn't going to fizzle just because Google is there and the Big Guy In The Playground.

    Then again, anything's better than Wolfram|Alpha, judging by my attempts to use it.

  3. Steven Hunter

    Sounds like...

    A "Decision Engine" sounds like how a 1950's/60's SciFi writer would describe a robot's brain.

    Probably just as accurate too, if Microsoft's past search engines are any indicator.

  4. Ed


    Honestly... If Microsoft are still using Bing as a product name in 5 years time I'll eat my hat.

  5. Nicholas Ettel


    Perhaps, instead of Mr. Chandler Bing, they've named this "decision engine" after the cherry. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to pop Mr. Ballmer's Bing?!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's in a name

    I see they didn't do a lot of research when coming up with the name of Bing (or maybe they did!)

    Where I come from in Scotland a bing is a slag heap (mining reference).

  7. N Silver badge


    The only thing I trust Microsoft to do is fuck up my desktop, OS & documents & now it looks like theyre into fucking up decisions as well.

    I wonder how that would look in the boardroom, er well, um, according to Bing it said that...

  8. danny_0x98

    The Prerequisite Title

    May I suggest that you and Mary Jo add "Bing as in Bing, Bing, Bing Went the Trolley" to the Ballmer mood indices?

  9. b166er

    Shurely (hush, pedant)

    Bada Bing, no?

    Bingo! would have been better! And! would! have! played! well! with! the! Yahoo! merger! should! that! ever! materialise!

  10. Charles Manning

    [B]ing [I]s [N]ot [G]oogle

    Recursive name like gnu etc.

    Ballmer's Google obsession is obvious to all. This makes the "ing" part of the name obvious. So all they needed was to choose the first letter.

    Aing? WTF? how do you say that?

    Bing? Yeah maybe: B == Balmer or Bill

    Cing? Nope is that pronounced Sing or King?

    Ding? Sounds dented.

    Eing? Same as for Aing.

    Fing? Maybe but will get called F***ing.

    Ging? Nope Jing or Ging?

    Hing? Sounds too Asian.

    Iing? As per Aing?

    Jing? Sounds too Asian.

    King? Fu...

    Ling? ummm

    Ming? Asian


    Oing? As per Aing?

    Ping? Asian

    Qing? Somebody will bitch there's no U. Though "Qing wants U" is catchy.

    Ring? No, just finished 6 months of therapy for XBox RROD problems.

    Sing? Got Songsmith already thanks

    Ting? Asian

    Uing? Like Aing

    Ving? Bloody Germans/Dutch/Afrikaners will say Fing.

    Wing? Bloody Germans/Dutch/Afrikaners will say Ving.

    Xing? Asian

    Ying? Asian

    Zing? No still got some Z stuck to the bottom of my shoe from Zune.

    Well that pretty much leaves Bing.

  11. Eddie Johnson


    "But they failed to build to their target markets in any real way, with the result that in the end there really wasn't much difference between their word processor and Word."

    You may be right for the general market but the funny thing is, I still fall back to WP8, (just checked the file dates, 1997) for stuff you still can't do in Word or OpenOffice. Try and have left justified and right justified text on the same line for example, something that's pretty common in headers and footers. Its an absolute disaster in Word/OpenOffice and is as easy as Alt+F7 in WP. Word can only do justification by paragraph so the only way to fake it is by creating a table.

    And didn't you just love WP's Reveal Codes mode? :) Being able to edit the control codes in the data stream is like falling back to Unix stuff like nroff/troff.

  12. kempsy

    Checks for other uses of Bing

    Did they google it? Or did they rely on their own search engine to check for any previous uses of "Bing" (i.e. Bollocks Its No Good)

  13. Camilla Smythe

    Let's hope....?

    That the previous owner of Bing pocketed some serious wonga from Microsoft for the domain name....*/

    Hmmmm... Looks like the Aussies might have downed a few tinnies of Fosters.

  14. Camilla Smythe

    Ooooooo..... Bing For Sale!!

  15. JC

    Remember It's MS

    Bing is obviously the sound an old cash register makes when it opens so a cashier can take payment. Highly appropriate considering MS' decision to try and pay people to use Live Search via their CashBack program, that it irks them to no end that it isn't the other way around yet and that even Yahoo isn't willing to help for a fair buyout price.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BING - But It's Not Google.

    Bing may be a good thing or a bad thing, based on an individuals set bias of course. For mine, BINY!

  17. Camilla Smythe

    Re: Let's Hope....?

    Cancel that emotion.... Registrar Name:

    Chances are the original owner never knew it was Microsoft behind the bid and, although it was a catchy 4 letter .com they would not have realised its 'real' worth. It would be really nice to know if they are feeling a bit sick at the moment....

  18. /dev/me

    Re: [B]ing [I]s [N]ot [G]oogle



    I myself was thinking more in the line of *bling*, as the real purpose in Bing's life is to serve advertisements to the nets wanderers. A "decision engine", ha! We all know what that means. It means our search engine has turned into a robo-salesman. And seeing how we all love salespersons, and how we all like sub-turing machines interfering with our daily workflow, we are all just gonna love this.

    All we need now is a paperclip "I see you are looking on the internet for 'russian bride', what would you like to do? 1) Order one online 2) See pictures 3) See vids 4) Read what other people have to say about their 'russian bride'" ... ad nauseum.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Bing Crossly

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Eddie Johnson

    Left and right justification in Word (2003 at least)? No problem.

    Write your left-justified text, move your mouse to the end of the line (you'll see the mouse pointer change to a cursor with right justify icon), double-click, and start writing your right-justified text.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Redefining the market is the way forward

    The problem is that Google has search (as it stands) tied up - it's not going to be possible to out-Google Google. Google itself came into a fairly nascent market and redefined it, giving us ideas like relevance, peer-linking and so on. And as various tech pundits put it, the 80s was the decade of IBM, the 90s was MS' decade and the 00s has been the decade of Google. So the time is ripe for change, but the only way that it's going to happen is by going back to the core of what people want from their internets and trying to make it easier for them.

    So I can understand the logic, even if the execution could be better.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ Charles Manning

    Actually, I think Ling a very cunning choice :-)

    Paris or coat? I'll take Paris...

  23. Geoff Lamb

    Bada Bing

    The strip club in the Sopranos.

    Didn't they google it first?

  24. hugo tyson
    Jobs Horns

    Lift arriving? Your TV dinner is ready?

    Yeah, I think they think it's like the bell of a lift arriving or a clockwork microwave timeout or readiness of some other thing for which you're waiting. Presumably it'll take much longer than google then.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    How many MS developers does it take to change a light bulb?


    MS will simply re-define darkness as the industry standard.

  26. Paul Hands

    Bing is already a Linux / unix program name

    Looks like the vole didn't do too much research, or they just don't care.....

    Bing is a ping based bandwidth measurement tool. MS just cannot be original at all.

  27. Simon B

    Complexifying simplicity!

    "The company in the 1990s based its work on simplifying complexity through the interface or through integration of software ..."

    And now it Complexifies simplicity!

  28. William Towle

    And there was me thinking...

    "Ned? Ned Ryerson?"


    Oh. My. God.

    // Friends reference accidental

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    are there any guarantees?

    Decision Engine?

    Should I install Windows or Linux ? - I think we could guess the answer

    What about, Should I leave my Job ? - Will there be sufficient scope to enter the required parameters?

    or, is it the modern equivalent of "lucky dice" roll a double six, and stay away fron snake eyes?

  30. Anonymous Coward


    When the voice-over on the Bing intro video says "the top medical resources in the world", the screenshot shows Wikipedia in second or third place in the results.

  31. Martin Lyne

    Looks like

    It's time for MS to charge less for their products. Clearly they have too much money to waste on HORSESHIT.

    Microsoft's track record at redeveloping something is pretty dire. 95, good, 98, meh, ME, shit, XP good-ish, Vista, shit.

    MSN search, shit. Not really leaving themselves much room to deteriorate into (perhaps that'll force them to make it good instead?)

    I guess they did marginally improve office with the latest ribbon bull.

  32. Ron Loftin

    My $0.02

    I expect that MS Bing will turn out to be the 21st century equivalent of MS Bob.

    And, yes, I'm a penguinista.

  33. Stevie Silver badge

    Hah! Hah!

    [4 Charles M.] Very nice list. I'll bill you for the keyboard at the end of the month.

    [4 William T.] I get that. Well done.

  34. Nathanael Bastone

    Run, run for the hills!

    The Microsoft-Bing-Decision-Engine™ is rolling into town!!!

    soon the MBDE-police will be breaking down your doors and ripping out your googles and replacing them with bings!


    To make a Bing-Decision-Engine stew you will need;

    * 5 cups of BING! - (the soap you can believe in!)

    * One monkey brain (if this is not available an Android[oops, careful!] I mean... cybernetic life-form Decision-Engine will suffice)

    * A bag of bollocks so large it will leave the entire population of Munich as Eunuchs!

    Mix it together and what have you got? bippity, boppity boo! A BING! Decision-Engine for you!

    Yes, it doesn't make a lot of sense, but then neither does Microsoft....

  35. TeeCee Gold badge

    That Ipsos poll.

    So, did 763 people Google the answer to that question, or were they lying?

  36. Dave


    Bing! is the sound-effect that goes along with the cartoon light-bulb that will appear when anyone tries to use this. Probably because of the realisation that it really is MS little paperclip behind the scenes.

    Anyway, as for all the BS about wanting decisions, I got there first with my site. Don't want to be censored, Ms Bee, so I won't even try to say the name.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    same old cobblers

    I tried to search for 'Bourne', being my home town and a place of some small historic interest.

    I got a dozen pages about Mr GreenGrass's kinematic extravaganzas and the novels of Mr Ludlum. In German, presumably because I am connected to a T-mobile hotspot.

    I appended the county name to the search, and it returned the wikipedia article, a search (in german),​Lincolnshire/​Bourne/Florists/​uk100004027-s-13379.htm and similar formless dross.

    Doesn't seem any cleverer to me.

  38. Robert E A Harvey

    @JC - cash register

    My old Dad's N CR with all the buttons went "Kerching - Ting" not 'bing'

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There's one side of this the article did ignore, though: The method Microsoft used to make Internet Explorer the (still) most common browser while also killing Netscape dead: Leverage Their Windows marketshare. It will be alot harder to do that for this kind of situation, but watch for "integration" between Office and web-browsing (sorry "decision engine" access) to push anyone who buys or upgrades their PC towards Microsoft's pet project, while doing everything they can to make Google's tools not work easily for users. Regardless of what they call it, Bing will be the default for everything Windows 7 does, you watch.

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