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7/2/2009: Bing - the First Ever Decision Engine?

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Microsoft is spending a reputed $80 million advertising Bing as the first ever decision engine.

It seems that despite Microsoft's enormous resources, they didn't do a very good job of protecting their claims of uniqueness.  As we saw in my last entry, hunch.com is also calling itself a decision engine (and on the surface Hunch's claim seems a lot more reasonable).   

Microsoft's real problem is, or course, that Bing will be seen as just another search engine - and a distant competitor for industry giant Google.  My own use of Bing over the past week certainly reinforces this impression.  It does present some information in different ways, but what it does mostly is present search results.  These results are very similar to Google's, though in a few cases they differ in quirky ways. 

But the real problem for Microsoft is that I'm familiar with Google and I like it - and whatever Microsoft calls it, Bing is just not better enough to make me switch.

It's still early in the game, but as I write this, Microsoft's costly ad campaign has succeeded only in increasing their market share from 7.2% to 8.2%.  Unless Microsoft can convince users that Bing really is different, they will remain a small player in the search market.

Perhaps Microsoft should have spent their $80 million to develop a really innovative product, rather than simply promoting the 'n'th revamping of their search engine.