Microsoft Bing

Is Bing good for Bing?

July 9, 2009: 2:51 PM ET

BingcrosbyI'll be honest with you. I have mixed feelings now about this whole Bing thing. David Pogue in the New York Times gives Bing The Search Engine a nice little writeup in the paper today, saying that "in many ways, Bing is better."

A few months ago, that would have been about me. Now it's not. It's about this other guy. I'm happy for him and all that. But what good is that doing for all the other Bings who used to be the Bings that people thought about when they thought about Bings?

My friends have said that this whole hyper-awareness of anything Bing will be a positive thing for this particular Bing. And it's true... there are more of you commenting on my thoughts here in this space. The only problem is, your comments aren't about anything germane to any other subject than Bing The Search Engine, which from now on I think I'll just call BingTSE, or perhaps Bingtsey, for short. Your comments tend to be things like, "I hate the threading," or "there are certain aspects of its algorithm I like."

That's very interesting, I am sure. But not to me. I mean, what does it do for me personally? Like you, that's essentially first, second and third on the list of what I care about.

Most depressing to me, the original Bing, is what's happened on Google. I feared it would be this way, and those fears have been realized. Before Bingtsey came along, if you searched "Bing" it was all about me and Bing Crosby. There was also a Chinese doctor who got his share of hits, and when Steve Bing acted up in some way he was there too. Now the whole front page is about boring stuff pertaining to Bingtsey and his pals. I don't mean it's boring in itself, but since it doesn't pertain to me, Bing, it is ipso facto less interesting than anything that does.

More importantly, it doesn't help my brand one bit.

I am somewhat mollified by a couple of things. First, I remember that little paper clip that Microsoft (MSFT) tried to introduce into our Windows universe a few years ago. He died. What was his name? Bob? Ned? Fred? Ed? Nobody misses him, in any event. Second, I never bet against Google. True, they are right now showing lack of competitive acumen by allowing their Bing search results to be dominated by their rival. But in the end, will Bingtsey oust the Goog (GOOG)? In other words, I know that I'm going to be around until they drag me kicking and screaming onto the obit page. Can we say the same for Bingtsey?

It's just possible, in short, that in the end I may well be the last Bing standing. Time will tell. Meanwhile, I'm ready for Chrome. Perhaps you are too. I wonder what the guys who make the real, shiny stuff are feeling about it right about now.

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