A short rant by Dean Robinson resulted in me going off on one of my own about Microsoft’s new search venture, Bing. I couldn’t resist but comment with some of my own thoughts, and by the time I’d finished commenting I figured I may as well adapt the original comment and throw it out there as a blog post in it’s own right.
My Thoughts on Bing
It really hasn’t impressed at all. What’s worse is that it’s a branding nightmare. Microsoft have completely cocked up their web activity branding over the past few years. They can’t make up their mind who they are. Are they MSN? Are they Live? Are they Bing?
If you go to bing.com and want to do a map lookup you get taken to the immensely shit multimap.com. Go to maps.live.com and you get forwarded to bing.com/maps – what’s this all about. Which system am I meant to use?
Microsoft Live Windows Bing Hotmail
What about Live Mail, which became Windows Live Hotmail, which integrated with Windows Live Mail on the desktop which confused the hell out of everyone. Am I a [email protected] user, or should I be logging in with an @hotmail.com account. Going to www.hotmail.com forwards to mail.live.com (after redirecting you to login.live.com). It’s all so completely retarded.
Microsoft Bing Ciao
Go shopping on ciao.co.uk, not shopping.bing.com, where it says Ciao! (from bing) and if you want to use it you have to create a Ciao account. Go to your Live profile and do a search, the default is the Live “people” search, but use that same search box from your Live Hotmail account and you get dropped into bing.com, oh, and I’m no longer signed in. Click sign in to get redirected around various MSN or Live passport type things before coming back to Bing.
Microsoft Bing Community (Live)
Heard of Bing Community? Nope, that’s hidden away in extras if you do a search. What is it? I’ve no idea:
“Welcome to the Microsoft Bing Community – Remember, don’t post your personal information”
Don’t post my personal information about what? What is Microsoft Bing Community? Where does it all fit on? Should I link to my Windows Live Spaces (bing)?
The worst branding nightmare imaginable
This is a PR company/marketing person’s nightmare.
Also, if you change your country location (my default was United Kingdom) to Ireland and suddenly you can no longer search for videos, shopping or maps, they’re just gone. Clearly Irish people don’t have fast enough net connections to watch videos online.
It’s a total disaster. Microsoft need to work out their identity issues and damn quick. No one has a clue what they’re meant to go to any more. Of course, both Live and Bing are poor names to begin with, but I think Live is probably a little better than Bing (which has an absolutely awful logo by the way). However, it doesn’t matter, cause they’ve allocated $100,000,000 to pound this name into people’s heads until a few years down the line they’re going to change it all to be something like Microsoft Live Mesh Windows Search (now with extra Bing).
What about the search?
Ok, I should mention as well that I’m not overly impressed with the search results as well. I’ve done a few comparitive searches and they’re just not hitting the mark right at all. Whilst there are a few nice touches – such as the infinite scrolling on image search, and the preview playing of video thumbnails, it’s definitely not enough to make me consider changing to use them on a daily basis.
I can’t resist mentioning the screen shot below. What’s up with this set of suggested searches – type “Linux” and get suggested “Linux Windows”, “Linux Microsoft”, “Linux Vista”. Are you trying to tell me that your suggestion engine is completely broken, or are you having a bit of a joke?
Why do I care?
Well I don’t really care – this is just a commentry. I don’t really use any of the Microsoft/Windows/Live/Bing web services, I’m not a MSN messenger user, I’ve no contacts with them etc, but I do keep an eye on web developments as a whole and boy has this one struck me as a momentous cock up.