Steve Ballmer just announced Microsoft’s newest search offering on the D7 stage. He introduced it by showing a video, a Star Trek parody called “A bold search for a new name.” The video runs over Microsoft’s chronic re-naming of its search engine. And there it is: the new name is “Bing.”
Why Bing? Obviously we needed a better name, says Ballmer. “We needed a name that says this is all about search.” Ballmer doesn’t seem to really know. “I’m not the creative guy, here …. short mattered … people like to ‘verb up’ … works globally, doesn’t have negative connotations.”
Microsoft designed Bing as a “Decision Engine” to provide customers with intelligent search tools to help them simplify tasks and make more informed decisions, from simple decisions like choosing the fastest route to get home to more complex ones like researching a product purchase or planning a trip (Maps, Cashback, Encarta, Farecast). Bing also includes the technology Microsoft acquired when it purchased Powerset, as planned.
Bing will begin to roll out over the coming days and will be fully deployed worldwide on Wednesday, June 3.
The new brand portfolio will include the following changes to existing Microsoft programs:
– Microsoft’s mapping platform, Virtual Earth, will now be branded as Bing Maps for Enterprise. More information can be found here.
– Technology from Microsoft’s April 2008 acquisition of Farecast is now a central part of Bing Travel.
– Microsoft’s popular cashback program, now dubbed Bing cashback, with more than 850 merchants and more than 17 million products available, will be fully integrated into the Bing Shopping experience.
The D7 Interview with Steve Ballmer
is still going on is now fully available. We’ll have the video up on here as soon as we can. Video is up now too, unfortunately the Star Trek parody isn’t in it :(
You can also find out more about Bing at DiscoverBing.com/behindbing.