Just in case it slipped passed you, the week beginning 25th May saw the long awaited launch of Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine and Wave, Google’s new communications platform. Now when I said launch neither service actually launched, it turned out to be more of an official unveiling. Microsoft made their unveil date perfectly clear and as such many expected that the big G would come along and launch one of their own products to cast a bit of a shadow over the Microsoft launch and they didn’t disappoint!
The launch success and buzz could and still can easily be judged by twitter and needless to say Google Wave wiped the floor with Microsoft Bing. Whilst Bing hit the trending topics very early on their time there was short lived. Wave hit the trending topics later that day as it is was unveiled later and as far as I’m aware it has been a trending topic ever since. This isn’t great news for Microsoft as it kinda shows very few people outside of the tech and search communities either care about it or know of it, yet! Was this partly due to Microsoft forgetting to put a landing page up on bing.com or was it because they were actually meant to fully launch with a live search engine? Who knows. Monday 1st June when Bing is launched for the second time will no-doubt be a telling day for the the search engine, or will the telling day actually be in September when Microsoft launch their updated algorithm (will that make it the 3rd launch of Bing?).
Bing and Decide
I think Microsoft’s tag line for Bing says it all “Bing and Decide” and no-doubt many people will when Microsoft’s new search engine launches for the second time on the 1st June 2009. Now as far as I’m aware the main algorithm won’t be updated (with the algorithm Microsoft have been developing for the last few years) until September 2009, so until then Bing will just be putting a different spin on their current algo. This unfortunately for Microsoft will mean results of limited relevance and a search engine which is relatively easy to spam. So Bing’s not going to be competing with Google in terms of relevancy just yet, so what about buy-in from the tech and search communities? Well who still receives hundreds of visits from Microsoft’s cloaking bot for completely irrelevant keywords? Most of you? thought so. Does it screw up your analytics because they use a wide IP range? Yep. Does it really really annoy you? No end. So Microsoft will probably fail on tech/search buy-in unless they fix the issue pretty quick. So who’s going to promote and positively discuss Bing other than Microsofts $80 million? Still thinking, sorry.
Its not all lost
Okay, so I might be being a little hard on Microsoft here, as I haven’t even used Bing yet. It is after all supposed to be a new way of searching and their interface has bit of life to it. Could the catchy interface be their saving grace, could they be doing what many companies out there are doing and targeting the ‘teen’ community? Let’s face it Google’s interface probably isn’t that appealing to teenagers, however a catchy image based search engine that brings interactivity to the user might just do it, think what the same theory did for the Wii! So if they manage to capture ‘teen’ community now, then that stands them in good stead for the future. Could Microsoft actually be playing the long game?
Final thoughts on Bing
No matter how many negatives and positives there are about Bing. The question is can Microsoft change the way of modern life? Just ask you self this – do you say “go and search for it” or “Google it”? If I did a poll I’d guess 99% of people would vote “Google it”. Microsoft, you have a tough challenge in front of you, good luck. Personally I think the world needs a strong competitor for Google, will it be Bing, my gut feeling is no, but lets at least give it a chance!
Now not to be to be out done Google launched Wave, again not a live launch but more of an unveiling. Now unlike Bing, Wave I’m quite excited about – Wave claims to be a new way of communicating. This is a strong statement of which I partly agree with, in that it takes existing digital communications and seamlessly ingrates them into a Wave (a threaded conversation between a group that incorporates all forms of digital communication) . So a new method of communication it isn’t, but a new way of communicating it is. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of Google Wave so if you want to read all about it see the great post by Techcruch.
Is Google’s Wave the future of communication?
Again this is like asking will Bing return relevant results, who knows. But the ability to combine nearly all methods of digital communication into one stream is quite an exciting prospect. In my opinion it will definitely get a huge take up for use in peoples social life, but the big question in my mind is will it be strong enough to break into the business/corporate world and knock Microsoft’s Exchange and Outlook combo off top spot? I don’t think so. Now if it Outlook can integrate into the Google’s Wave then that could be completely different story
Final thoughts on Google’s Wave
Google Wave in my opinion is set to transform digital communication and it will be aided in doing so by the fact as its all open source. The only thing that I see from stopping Google Wave from taking off in the corporate arena is Microsoft Outlook and Exchange – if Google Wave can successfully integrate with Exchange and it is proven successful for social use then it may well be adopted by the business world. On the other hand it could just turn into another platform for Google to push its adwords out to the world.