Marketplace Scratch Pad

Will you Bing it?

Scott Jagow May 28, 2009

Microsoft gave us the name of its new search engine today. Bing. It’ll be up and running by next Wednesday at bing.com. Don’t bother clicking. There’s nothing there. But there is more at discoverbing.com. Anyway, about the name…

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says he was looking for something short, something that could “verb up” … like Google. I Google. You Google. We Googled.

I can hear people saying, “I’ll Bing it.” Just barely. But I’m having a hard time hearing any kind of past tense version of Bing. Think about it.

Here’s what the New York Times says about the search engine:

“The most noticeable new feature in Bing is what Microsoft executives call a table of contents, a navigation rail that allows users to refine their searches and that changes with each query. A search for Taylor Swift, for instance, gives users the option to quickly zero in on things like images, videos, lyrics and tickets. A search for Elvis Presley will offer slightly different options — no tickets, but a fan club.”

The tech experts who’ve checked it out say Bing is probably more evolutionary than revolutionary. I’m sure Microsoft would be happy just to make a dent in Google’s market share.

Meanwhile, the 90’s have finally ended, as Crossing Wall Street puts it. Time Warner will spin off AOL completely by year’s end. Their 8-year marriage had to be one of the worst corporate hook-ups ever.

It’s pretty funny to read this story from January 10, 2000:

In a stunning development, America Online Inc. announced plans to acquire Time Warner Inc. for roughly $182 billion in stock and debt Monday, creating a digital media powerhouse with the potential to reach every American in one form or another.

Or maybe just the potential to lose billions and not reach that many people.

By the way, AOL plans to hang on to its dial-up ISP business. There must be plenty of people still paying $25 a month to hear that bmmmm, hrrrrrr, eeeeeeek sound because AOL still makes a ton of money from dial-up customers.

My dad was one of them until recently. Drove me nuts every time I went home.

Bmmmm, hrrrrr, eeeeek. Then again, it does kind of make me nostalgic for the 90’s, “surfing” the web, trying out chat rooms, listening to the Goo Goo Dolls…

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.