Probably not. Old habits are hard to break.
But I do like this video preview of Microsoft’s NEW search engine which should be announced sometime today. It was formerly code-named Kumo (I got several hits from kumo.com spiders) and has been rebranded to have a slightly goofier, monosyllabic name – Bing.
In the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Ries and Jack Trout talk to us about the Law of Leadership and how it’s so hard for a company to carve out mindshare when they are second to a market (such as NetApp to EMC). The way to break this down is through additional focus and through expansion of categories. An example from the book was delivery services. UPS was one upped by FedEx when they started offering overnight. Then DHL comes along and drives the “international delivery” message home… In the storage space, NetApp went hard for NAS and a mostly single-appliance and they carved out a nice little niche for themselves.
Microsoft’s Bing appears to have the tools to do something really different here, but unfortunately because we’re talking about software/web services as opposed to hardware, it will be easy for Google to play me too as Microsoft wins a battle here or there. Google is the recognized leader, and they have achieved the invincible “common term” status. Instead of searching the web for stuff – you ‘Google’ it.
But… what Microsoft appears to have done (which is hard to quickly replicate) is to build up a nice set of partners with companies on the web who are known for given high-quality authoritative content in field like electronics, medical advice, and making travel plans. They are also compensating them in a big way, I’d imagine. Google let’s everyone fight it out – whether you are CNET or Joe’s Tech Gadget Review Site – you are treated equally as a paying customer. As time goes on and as people desire more trustworthy content, I can imagine Microsoft’s approach will begin to gain some popularity.
On the video they show a great feature that aims to tell you when a particular airfare is going to be the lowest and I could imagine using that today. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that Google is already doing this…