Microsoft Announces Bing
May 28th | 2009 By
Today Microsoft announced the launch of Bing, the new name for its search engine. The engine is being rolled out starting today with the goal of being fully deployed on June 3rd.
With this launch, Microsoft is moving towards semantic search and what they are calling a “Decision Engine.” The idea is to answer the user’s question directly in the search engine, rather than provide a list of links and make the user do the work to disseminate the information. Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) stated, “When we set out to build Bing, we grounded ourselves in a deep understanding of how people really want to use the web. Bing is an important first step…[to] enable people to find information quickly and use the information they’ve found to accomplish tasks and make smart decisions.”
The plan is to start to build a better experience than what Google provides specifically in the areas of travel, health and local business. The results for “hotel in Boston” will return a list of the hotels available, along with ratings, pricing and pictures. Another example is a search for a UPS tracking number directly in the engine and it will respond with the status, instead of clicking through to UPS.com.
They will also re-brand 3 of their current products into Bing Maps (previously Virtual Earth), Bing Travel (built from an acquisition of Farecast) and Bing Shopping (an expanded version of Cashback).
Look for a large marketing push out of JWT to launch June 3rd, according to Ad Age. The campaign is expected to be $80-100 million fully integrated across tv, radio and online.
Previously, this new engine had been code named “Kumo” and a few screenshots had been leaked into the media.
Check out the video Microsoft released that shows some sample queries and helps explain the concept.
Implications for Marketers
Be prepared for the potential of increased traffic from Microsoft while there is news coverage. You may want to increase any caps within Microsoft to capture the increased traffic, but also pay close attention to conversion rates. There is a strong likelihood of new searchers who may just be browsing to test the new engine.