back to article Ballmer's Yahoo! bullishness hides Bing brand play

Steve Ballmer has been telling partners and investors to man up on search and advertising, saying people "didn't get" Microsoft's online deal with Yahoo!. Now, it's become clear why Microsoft's chief executive is so bullish. Ballmer is selling a deal that ties Microsoft to some tough deliverables, which will see Microsoft …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Yeah Right

    "We are already seeing initial anecdotal evidence that people are using 'Bing' as a verb."

    And there is anecdotal evidence that I'm an eccentric millionaire... its probably complete bollocks but....

    Frankly if that is the best Microsoft can do then they might as well pack up and go home.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Yeah Right 2

    "We are already seeing initial anecdotal evidence that people are using 'Bing' as a verb."

    We are also seeing green shoots of recovery. The Jury is still out on whether these are not just the next bubble fattening up while everything else goes down the toilet. It's all about interpretation.

    In the Real World, using bing leaves one with the hope that it's still currently indexing stuff.

    Reg logo because of the green shoots.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    "people are using 'Bing' as a verb"...

    oh no. oh no, no no!

    Please tell me that marketing types haven't latched onto this metric as a measure of a products success? FFS, marketing types have ruined enough, hopefully that aren't going after the English language now.

    On a related note, about taking search results and switching the name at the top to "Google": People think so highly of Google's "brand" because Google has done a fairly good job at returning relevant results. Even if Google sold their name to MS tomorrow, MS would destroy it in a year by returning shitty results.

    It takes hundreds of searches to figure out how good a search engine is, and lets face it, each player has earned their reputation. That being said, Google is certainly no saint. Their search results have been getting crappier, and their ads more abundant. It won't take much for Google to loose their place, if they actually had some real competition.

    But at the end of the day, the answer is clear: in the long term, people opt for quality not "branding".

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I accidentally wound up on Mapquest earlier today

    and it took me a moment or two to work out why the page had 'Bing" all over it. That's some good market penetration.

    I've heard plenty of anecdotal evidence that Microsoft's upper management is entirely composed of mouthbreathing morons.

  5. Ray Gratis


    Bing oogling for years - what's the issue?

  6. Anonymous Coward


    "We are already seeing initial anecdotal evidence that people are using 'Bing' as a verb"

    Yes, but that's just people taking the piss and saying "if you bing for it, you'll find it" (they really mean that you'll find something almost but not entirely unlike it, but that takes too long to say and rather detracts from the point)

  7. Mike S

    Its a big market...

    and even if you're not the leader, 2nd place isn't that bad.

  8. Wrenchy

    Surely not.

    > Clearly, Microsoft thinks that Bing is already as good as Google and that its past search problems were all about branding - not the technology.

    Oh God, if Microsoft really thinks this, THEY'RE SO FUCKED.

  9. Combat Wombat

    Fail ahoy !

    Man, Microsoft is setting themselves up for a massive kick in the balls, and Yahoo, just bought more time to reinvent themselves as they next big thing.

    I can see this going down in flames, MS with egg all over their face, and the Yahoo management taking a golden parachute, blaming MS for the fail.

    *eats popcorn*

    This'll be the BEST comedy in ages.

  10. Michael Overton

    Microsoft is about marketing

    Microsoft is using the same mentality that allowed them to win the "browser wars" to the "search wars". It worked before, so why would they doubt it the second time around? Personally, after watching the number of ways Microsoft continues to prove that they "don't get" the internet, I can safely say that I'll go out of my way to avoid anything they've produced. I simply don't trust them to do what they say they will, and I certainly don't trust them to even remotely respect my interests against their desire for profit. But then, I don't really trust Google or Amazon in that regard, either...

  11. Goat Jam

    Pass the Koolaid

    "We are already seeing initial anecdotal evidence that people are using 'Bing' as a verb."

    When people other than paid MS shills and their associated fanbois start verbing it up with bing then I might be impressed, until then I clearly haven't been drinking enough of that Redmond Koolaid.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, but.

    EmS still has the desktop monopoly sewn up and will no doubt entrench Ding so tightly into Doze7 that it will freeze out google slowly. If failure of this tie up with yahoo is to cost EmS money, expect them to try every shitty anti-competitive unhandy tactic they have been famous for in past, plus some new ones, to undercut google.

  13. Michael 28


    "We are already seeing initial anecdotal evidence that people are using 'Bing' as a verb."

    .....what the bing does that mean?

  14. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Bing Bong, MS calling

    I'm sorry MS, but "Bing" just makes me think of Chandler from Friends, who would not be my chosen companion on a quest for knowledge.

  15. Jimb
    Paris Hilton

    Bing it

    So it's fine for people to use "google" as a verb. But when they start using "bing" as a verb they're "morons". Their marketing campaign clearly has made some impact to the target audience. Without competitions there'll be no innovations. So I say "bing it" and don't just "google it" to all narrow minded f**k0rs.

  16. System 10 from Navarone

    Bing as a Verb


    bing(2) - verb(used without object) /Obsolete/

    *to go*

    ...presumably as in 'to go down the sh*thole', in which case Microsoft are indeed 'binging' and the term will be heard even more often, acecdotally or otherwise

  17. Bilgepipe

    Bing Crosby is Spinning in His Grave

    "That's a huge statement of confidence in Microsoft's Bing and AdCenter"

    No, it's a statement of desperation - Ballmer seems to be betting the farm on getting the word Bing in the dictionary. As usual they've started with the brand name and worked back to the product instead of starting with a product that works, like Google did.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Does it work?

    in this I agree with Ballmer, binge is a verb

  19. Mike Gravgaard

    RE: "people are using 'Bing' as a verb"

    I've not conviced Microsoft actually have a clue as to what they are doing...

    Instead of fighting Google on success of search and accuracy of search, they seem to think that marketing can make up for the short fall.

    Personally I think Microsoft is really stupid to compete with Google on this basis - admit is Ballmer, Google are better than you are and they know what they are actually doing - your trying to match Google when you don't even understand what your enemy is doing.

    I looked at Bing for a slip second (I would like competition to Google as well as the next person) but changing Live to Bing and doesn't seem to make the product any better.

    Bing is like a Austin Allegro - rubbish and should be consigned to the scrap yard. Google is like a Lotus, noticely designed but could be improved upon.

    Microsoft having an agreement with Yahoo! is interesting but I don't think this is going to help - the thing is people use Google as it's accurate, quick and reliable - I hate to say it but Microsoft, you're not know for being accurate, quick or reliable in any of your existing products and even though you might throw massive amounts of money at the problem, you'll never achieve it.


  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Marketing made up very nicely for the shortfall in MS's core business of desktop operating systems and office productivity software --- why shouldn't they believe that it will this time, too?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Sorry to abmit it but...

    I actually use Bing and quite like it. Gives very similar results to Google in some informal testing and has been quite snappy. There really isn't much between them in my opinion.....

    Though I'd never use it as a verb just as I wouldn't say "googling" either.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bing is already as good as Google? Hilarious!

    I have no idea how Bing does page ranking, but it's not just a joke... it appears to be non-existent.

    I searched Bing for my full name in quotes to see what would come up.

    First hit, a page on that describes a patent I have. Not what I'd consider #1, but still okay. Second hit is a web page with my bio for my current job. No problem with that.

    The third hit is a link to a web page that used to be my work web page at a job I had 7 years ago. Because it was my page, my last name appears in the URL. But because I no longer work in that organization, the web page no longer exists and redirects to the organization's main page. Neither my first name or last name appear anywhere on that web page. Perhaps that organization main page has a high page ranking, but how can Bing rate that hit high on the list for my name if my name does not appear anywhere on that page. Notwithstanding that it may be a highly ranked page, it shouldn't be a strong hit for a search using my name as the search string.

    Next hit is a DBLP Bibliography Server incomplete list of publications of mine. A data-centric page with very little actual text. Anyone looking for me or info about me would probably find this page not very useful.

    Of the next five hits after that, for are for talks/presentations I give between the years 2002 and 2004. I've given numerous public talks in the five years since then. Apparently Bing does not use the presence of dates to infer age of a page, or doesn't use that info to make more recent pages more relevant in page ranking.

    Google results are completely different, far more relevant in terms of providing more useful info about me, and appearing to infer that pages associated with me involving activities from the past couple of years are more relevant than pages from years ago.

    I have no brand loyalty. I use Google because it works. Bing simply does not work very well when it comes to relevance. (I've tried it a few other times, not just to search for myself.) I know it's a work in progress, and I wish them luck in making improvements because I believe that good competition is good for everyone. But Microsoft is definitely still way off on the horizon in this catch-up game.


  23. David Dorfman

    Try Bing before you disparage it??

    The article is a bit unfair to Bing, It does contain some significant new technology. The quality of search results has improved and it does have the feature of streaming image results. So... if your looking for an image you will find Bing much better than Google.

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