Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Next Bing Wave

I have read many blog posts from across the social web discussing Microsoft's new discovery engine Bing, and Google's Wave service which will be released later this year. The top post I've read regarding both is from Seth Godin which I've posted below, and I've added my take as well. 

Microsoft, home of the Zune, has just announced that they're going to launch Bing, a rebranding and reformatting of their search engine. So far, they've earmarked $100 million just for the marketing.

Bing, of course, stands for But It's Not Google. The problem, as far as I can tell, is that it is trying to be the next Google. And the challenge for Microsoft is that there already is a next Google. It's called Google.

Google is not seen as broken by many people, and a hundred million dollars trying to persuade us that it is, is money poorly spent. In times of change, the rule is this:

Don't try to be the 'next'. Instead, try to be the other, the changer, the new.

If Microsoft adds a few features and they prove popular, how long precisely will it take Google to mirror or even leapfrog those features?

With $100 million, you could build (or even buy) something remarkable. Something that spread online without benefit of a lot of yelling and shouting. Something that changes the game in a fundamental way. The internet works best when you build a network, not when you buy a brand. In fact, I can't think of one successful online brand that was built with cash.

[For an answer to the popular question: "The next Seth Godin" and a few more pithy Q&A, click here]

[For a preview of the real next Google, check out this presentation of Google Wave. As a presentation geek, I need to point out that the intro (the first 2 minutes) is a fantastic example of how someone (you?) can stand up in front of 4,000 people with no slides and make a significant introduction with no hesitation and no apologies.]

My perspective: I think that Microsoft should have kept upgrading their search engine (rather than just redirect to and then did something more along the lines of what Wolfram|Alpha is about, which is to become an effective knowledge engine. I believe that in time they will realize this too. 

What's your take on the search engine space dominated heavily by Google? Will Microsoft increase their market share in search with Bing? 

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