Ballmer On Bing

Microsoft’s new search engine is no longer a secret, it is named Bing and we already have a few stories up now, including Microsoft’s Bing Vs Google: Head To Head Search Results and State Of Search: Google Will Stay Strong Despite Bing & Yahoo. We thought it would be useful to find quotes from Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, on Bing.

I am pulling my quotes from the live blog coverage from AllThingsD, Barron’s Online and News.com.

  • “Today, search engines do a decent job of helping people navigate the Web and find information, but they don’t do a very good job of enabling people to use the information they find,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “When we set out to build Bing, we grounded ourselves in a deep understanding of how people really want to use the Web. Bing is an important first step forward in our long-term effort to deliver innovations in search that enable people to find information quickly and use the information they’ve found to accomplish tasks and make smart decisions.” from the Microsoft press release
  • Why Bing? Obviously we needed a better name, says Ballmer. “We needed a name that says this is all about search.” Ballmer doesn’t seem to really know. “I’m not the creative guy, here …. short mattered … people like to ‘verb up’ … works globally, doesn’t have negative connotations.” Walt: So everyone is going to walk out of here and say “Bing me?” Clearly that’s Ballmer’s hope. “This is a very important step … it’s not a substitute for innovation, but we need to build brand equity in addition to technology equity. Via AllThingsD.
  • Was securing the trademark problematic? Ballmer says there were a few challenges. Bing Crosby, apparently was not an issue. Via AllThingsD.
  • Bing seems to be designed specifically to keep people on its search pages as opposed to sending them off to other sites. Is that what Microsoft is trying to do? Won’t this annoy content owners? Ballmer says no and adds that content deals are possible. “We’re not trying to get in the way of copyright holders,” he says. “If value should be redivided somehow between content providers, advertisers and search engines, let’s have that conversation. … we’re not trying to profit off of anyone else’s work.” Via AllThingsD.
  • Ballmer says now is the time to license content to be in here, can do deal for proprietary content they want to sell. In terms of real revenue on the Internet, there is Google for ad revenue, us and Yahoo, and everything else. Advertising as business model on the Internet is less proven than people think. Value could be redivided somehow with content providers and search engines and advertisers. Via Barron’s Online.
  • Walt wonders if this is like Ask.com, which redesigned, gained share, and then it melted away, and went back to where it was. Why won’t that happen again? Ballmer says things are not going to change over night. This is going to take lots of years. But he says they are not going to share his goals on stage. Fundamentals, sie of the index, way you manage it, we’ve made huge progress. But GOOG is the market leader. IF differentiators appeal to 20% of the people, that’s pretty healthy. Via Barron’s Online.
  • Walt wonders about marketing. Ballmer says they will have what they think is a big budget – big enough that he had a gulp – a gulp at a $60 billion company is a big gulp, he says. There will be new PCs preconfigured with Bing and other online properties. Have to keep working away at it and working away at it. Search has not been very dynamic category in terms of innovation. We’ll try some things, I think some people will like our unique point of view. Via Barron’s Online.
  • How is Microsoft differentiating sponsored searches in Bing? Cashback is obviously differentiated, Ballmer says. Paid side is tougher though. Via AllThingsD.
  • Final question from Walt: Does Bing mean that your interest in Yahoo is waning? Ballmer jokingly recites the standard bullet points. He then says that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz left him a note in the green room that read, and I’m not entirely clear on this — “The make up couldn’t fix me if it tried.” Via AllThingsD.

I’ll continue to update this post with more quotes from Ballmer on Bing.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Microsoft: Bing | Microsoft: Business Issues

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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