AdAge reports this morning that it will ride a huge wave of new advertising to promote it. The company has long offered Live Search, it had been talking about a new product called Kumo and now rumor has it the new search product will be called Bing. Except Microsoft just lost an attempt to trademark the word Bing, so who knows.Microsoft is expected to launch its new search engine this week and
Reports indicate that the ads won't mention Google by name but will claim that other search engines don't work well. It's hard for us to imagine switching from Google search, but perhaps Microsoft will come out with something special. What would it take you to switch? Google did very little advertising to get where it is today; too much Microsoft search advertising could backfire.
Microsoft won't be able to claim that Google is too expensive to use (as it does about Mac computers), it probably couldn't claim that Google is hard to use or ugly. It could provide examples of Google search results that don't seem intuitive or accurate, but I know I at least am quite satisfied with Google's results day in and day out.
Oft-cited logic regarding the market opportunity that still exists goes like this, from a Microsoft memo:
"In spite of the progress made by search engines, 40% of queries go unanswered; half of queries are about searchers returning to previous tasks; and 46% of search sessions are longer than 20 minutes. These and many other learnings suggest that customers often don't find what they need from search today."
What will it look like? SearchEngineLand has covered testing of Kumo extensively and has screenshots. Thankfully, they aren't super ugly; they look nice and simple, in fact. There's no indication that Kumo/Bing/Whatever will include search of additional things like Mesh storage or locations your car with Microsoft software in it has driven past. That could be cool.
We'll have to wait and see what the company comes up with, but we hope this next flood of advertising won't be as bizarre as the canceled Seinfeld ads, or totally patronizing.
Technology is all about disruption and surprises, though, so it would be a mistake to have no hope that Microsoft is going to offer something truly new and compelling.
Disclosure: Microsoft is a sponsor of ReadWriteStart, the section of our site focused on new startup companies.