Well the story we’ve been following for the past year, the rebranding of Live Search, reached a big milestone today with the announcement (finally) of the new name, Bing. While the name itself has yet to grow on us, we have to admit we really like the logo:
(BTW did anyone catch in the D7 interview where Steve Ballmer specifically mentioned that there was no trademark conflict? Does Mr. Ballmer read LiveSide? Oh hai, Steve!)
We also really like the tagline and its underlying concept. Microsoft has been focusing on certain types of search (the ones that happen to make the most money, as it turns out), and now they have a tagline that sums it all up: Bing, the decision engine.
It hasn’t taken long to start to get the word out (or start to spend some of that $80-100 million on advertising, can’t wait to see that campaign get rolling). A quick check of “the market leader” shows some ads are already appearing:
The new brand hasn’t been out 24 hours and there is already a bit of controversy, stirred up by (who else?) TechCrunch. According to a fortune cookie (hey, that’s probably better than some of TC’s sources!), Bing can mean “disease” in Chinese.
But according to Dr. Qi Lu, who thought about going back to live in his native China before accepting Steve Ballmer’s offer to head up Microsoft’s search effort, Bing means something a little more positive in Chinese:
“Bing” also resonates with an audience Google is yet to dominate: China.
“The actual Chinese characters are two characters, ‘Bi’ and ‘Ing’ and combined these two characters mean ‘very certain to respond’ and ‘very certain to answer’,” Dr Lu said.
“That’s a terrific representation of what our brand stands for in the Chinese language.”
And in another tempest in a teapot, Forbes writer Stanley Bing, who uses his last name as his self proclaimed personal brand, has thrown down the gauntlet to the newcomer Bing:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BING VS. BING
LONG-TIME FORTUNE COLUMNIST AND BEST-SELLING AUTHOR STANLEY BING CONDEMNS “BRAND INTRUSION” BY NEW MICROSOFT SEARCH ENGINE, ALSO TO BE NAMED “BING”
OFFERS SERVICES TO NEW ENTITY FOR “ANY REASONABLE OFFER”
And the (not long for this world?) Live Search Blog, to its credit, responds:
Let’s do lunch. In the meantime we are sending you a case of moderately priced cigars.
Oh the drama! Well, Woz likes Bing, anyway.
We’re expecting to get our hands on Bing soon, stay tuned.