Microsoft To Spend $100m On A Search Engine Called Bing

It is hard to keep a straight face once you hear that Microsoft, the software giant, is expected to spend $100m marketing and renaming its existing "Live Search" to Bing instead of Kumo.

Bing will be marketed as the next generation of Microsoft's search, formerly known as MSN Search and Windows Live. The 2009 campaign could eat up more than a quarter of the entire advertising budget of the company for 2008.

Kumo, in Japanese, means Cloud or Spider and may have been a better name instead of Bing. Microsoft actually registered the domain name, bing.com, for quite some time. The name was originally registered back in 1996 and since then, all other related domain names, on most top level domains, have been registered.

According to Advertising Age, this will roughly be almost four times the amount of money Google spent on advertising for the whole of 2008. JWT has apparently been recruited to mastermind the push on all main channels and has been actively recruiting creatives.

Bing could be launched as early as in a few hours when Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer takes the center stage at The Wall Street Journal’s vert influential All Things D conference.

it is also unlikely that Microsoft will be targeting Google, Yahoo or any of its competitors by name during the campaign, preferring instead to present Bing as a completely new type of search engine.

Bing will integrate underlying technology from Powerset which Microsoft acquired in August 2008 and may also (re)introduce the concept of categorisation when it comes to search engine results, something that Northern Light introduced more than a decade ago.

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Our Comments

This is almost certainly the last chance that Microsoft will get to make an impact on Google's apparently insurmountable lead in the search market. Still, money is not everything. After all, Microsoft tried to ridicule Apple with its "I am a PC" campaign and it surely didn't cause the Cupertino-based company to cow. So if Bing fails, Microsoft's only chance for Salvation will be to buy Yahoo.

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