CEO Steve Ballmer has announced the long-speculated rebranding and relaunch of Microsoft’s consumer search service at the All Things Digital Conference. As of June 1, Live Search will become Bing (as in cherry and former Piston great and now Detroit mayor). The service is scheduled to be in preview on June 1 and will lose its preview tag the following day. Needless to say, Bing will be accompanied by a large marketing campaign.
In the next week, we will publish, for Gartner’s media clients, a report that features our take on Bing, its mission and chances for success. But before that, a few points to consider:
With so much riding on Bing, why is Microsoft offering a six day gap between announcement and launch? Such a lag can only lead to the spread of misinformation and a potential flow of negative comments across the vast social media grid prior to launch. Microsoft does not go into this exercise with a lot of support among influencers given its past efforts in the search space. In the recent past, Google has announced major upgrades in real time and Apple, the master cybershowman, rarely leaves a major lag between announcement and delivery.
And why announce Bing at a conference geared for the cognoscenti? Ultimately, it is the consumer who decides, so why not a more public launch in a more fan-friendly venue? And while there may be no control over timing, a June launch is past the window of quality TV ad buys with May sweeps over and out. Summer TV viewing consists of reruns and lesser fare which doesn’t exactly lead to an engaged audience.
A few things to ponder. Stayed tuned for our more in-depth report.