back to article Ballmer not so bullish on Bing

After the launch, the hype. But one individual is not buying into the idea that Bing is a done deal or that Google is scared. That person is the one with the most at stake: the normally tough-talking and excitable Steve Ballmer. Microsoft's CEO is reported to have downplayed the immediate euphoria and creeping expectations …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    If at first you don't succeed...

    ... fail, fail, fail again, if you're MS at least.

    I doubt I'm the only site owner who recalls the last time MS revamped their search to unseat the Big G. They spent a mint yet ended up with an SE that produced results about as relevant as yahoo 6 or 7 years previously and a design that looked like 'Baby's first web project'. They made a lot of noise about how this was the Google killer, and we all watched our stats with bated breath to see if we now had to SEO for MS too. The needle didn't even flicker as MS share of referrals across my (Asian centric admittedly) sites declined steadily from 10pc to 5pc and beyond. It's now virtually a statistical irrelevance.

    The problem MS (and the rest) have is that Google keep delivering results that are relevant and usuable without getting too much in anyone's face - on the surface at least. Until they start fucking up or get exposed as the evil empire they may well be, MS etc may as well not bother. Ironic really, as it was they who a generation earlier who condemned us all to an eternity of their dreadful soul-sapping OS being considered the only game in town.

    Devil Bill, for missing the interweb bandwagon so loudly and publicly all those years ago

  2. Goat Jam

    "Bing is a long-term commitment"

    Oh, now I get it.

    Live Search didn't fail, it just wasn't a "long term commitment".

    Not like Bing is.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Check the fine print in your comScore link

    **May data does not include search activity at Microsoft Bing, which was launched on June 1. Microsoft Bing will be included with June qSearch data.

  4. zenkaon

    Give a year or 2

    and MS will be doing yet another rebranding of its product orientated, crappy results, search

  5. GrantB

    Epic fail

    $100m spent on advertising on top of hundreds of millions spent on buying powerset and developing Bing, and they get an immediate decrease in traffic?

    Why do MS shareholders pay this guy any sort of money?

    If I did that in my job... I would be getting my coat & heading out the door.

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Seventh Heaven ......for Turbo Enabled Star Stables

    Does Microsoft have a Pirates Suite .... with Operational AI Conversion Units for Live Operational Virtual Environment @ GlobalCommunicationsHQ.

    The Battles Microsoft face are not Traditional Forces for the Ground Advantage has Disappeared in CyberSpace, where Intellect Guides the Wise Ever Higher and Further and Deeper into Master Pilot Control.

    Control Words in CyberSpace dDeliver Intellectual Property with All ITs Powers to Earth. ....... for Virtualised Flight Management and Remote Proxy Stealth Command and Control of Competing Computing Systems with Human Resource Management Facility.

    Keep the Faith, El Reg. Things are becoming More unInteresting and Sourcing 42 MainStream.

  7. ChrisInBelgium

    No surprise

    Well, a clever man once said: 'You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig'.

    Microsoft has 3 problems with search:

    - people don't trust them, so they don't trust their search results

    - their results are not up to par with Google. Why change your search habits to switch from something that works well and you are happy with for something that works less well? Doesn't make any sense...

    - the internet is a gamechanging environment, they cannot use their monopoly to FORCE people to use their stuff. And guess what happens when people have a choice?

    I'm sure Microsoft can compete with the best if they put their mind to it. Maybe they should get rid of the chairthrowing CEO and hire someone with some vision for the future?

    Just a thought.

  8. Dibbles


    The comScore figures are for May, as you pointed out, but Bing launch wasn't until the very end of the month. So waiting until June figures are released is a much better idea for getting an idea of how it's faring...

  9. Tzael

    Grow a pair

    I <3 Ballmer! He's taking the calm sensible approach for now, give it six months and he'll be throwing chairs through Google's office windows :)

    I sortof like Bing, immensely more than I like Google, but I've still not been drawn away from Altavista. Talking of search engines, last night I witnessed a friend's habit of browsing to Google then typing in the name of the site he was after (eBay, Hotmail, YouTube, etc), then clicking on the entry in the search results! I pointed out the address bar and autocomplete, he's not buying it though, even after I pointed out he's leaving a nice juicy browsing habit trail for Google's archives!

  10. Tone
    Thumb Down

    Is Gavin Clarke Stupid?

    **May data does not include search activity at Microsoft Bing, which was launched on June 1. Microsoft Bing will be included with June qSearch data.

  11. Gareth.

    You Only Sing When You're Winning

    "We have had some very good initial response [about Bing]," Ballmer said. "I don't want to over-set expectations. We are going to have to be tenacious and keep up the pace of innovation over a long period of time."

    Microsoft are lots of things... but innovative isn't one of them.

  12. Toastan Buttar

    Too much speculation/punditry

    Does it really matter to any of us here whether Google or Bing (or A.N.Other search engine) will be the most used in 5 years' time ? Will we get extra kudos for having predicted the winner in these early days ? Might be time to re-read the late Mr Crichton's words of wisdom:

    Mine's the one with Old Moore's Almanack in the pocket.

  13. GrantB


    The comScore figures were hyped when Bing overtook Yahoo.. for about one day.

    Like any internet stats; you don't have to see the months figures, but can look at day to day results. Bing is like a big $100m movie from a major studio; that opens to average reviews and a public disinterested in buying into the hype.

    One of the problems for MS is that unlike the desktop where the could release a steaming pile of crap (call it Vista) & still make billions, is that

    MS with Ballmer gone and a decent CEO could be scary good, but he looks like he will hold on until MS is been run down. Never thought that Gates taking a step back would affect them; but it has.

  14. richard 69
    Jobs Halo


    "they cannot use their monopoly to FORCE people to use their stuff."

    errr...didn't they do just that with IE, thereby killing netscape.

    they can do it, have always done it and will do it again with Bing. give it 2 years and it will be biting google's ass. they'll just shoehorn it into their OS as always and the authorities will sit back and do fuck all until it's too late..again.

    i actually quite like Bing, it feels a bit fresher and gives more info about the sites than google. and i'm a mac user so that's difficult to say.

    oh, and 'amanfrommars' - the sun's out so you decided to re-appear have you? go back to drooling over the products in the apple store, then pretending they're shite, you prick.

  15. Michael Fremlins


    "- their results are not up to par with Google"

    Where's the evidence for that?

    One of the first MP3s I downloaded, years and years ago, from the interweb was Big Sky's "Siberia". A while back I was wondering what happened to the band, so I looked them up on Google. I tried "Big Sky", all kinds of combinations of words from the song, etc. It was nowhere to be found. So I went to Yahoo! The band's website was the first link.

    I just tried the same thing with Bing, and it's the first link there too. On Google at least it now shows up, but it's the bottom link on the first page. The first link is to cat breaders in Montana, not what I'm looking for at all.

    Google is good, but I have found it fails occasionally. And just because it's good, doesn't mean that somebody else can't do it better. After all, that is how Google got to be number 1 for now.

    Anyway, here's a plug: go to and listen to Siberia. It's a free download on the site. No registration...

  16. A B 3
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft 2.0

    It's not enough that they ruined OS competition. (would have preferred something like BeOS) Now they want to ruin the internet.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    i got some email from M$

    about Bing - i went zOMFG marked it as spam, binned it in my junk folder - where all M$ software products belong.

    i am sure they would not like the OS i use anyway, and it would only screw up there stats...

  18. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Who let the Dog Out?

    "oh, and 'amanfrommars' - the sun's out so you decided to re-appear have you? go back to drooling over the products in the apple store, then pretending they're shite, you prick." .... By richard 69 Posted Friday 19th June 2009 11:24 GMT

    Pleased to disappoint you that I don't do pretentious shite, richard 69. You are confusing yourself with A.N.Other.

    And the More Candy Apple Stores, can no Sane Man Resist, nor would he Think So. ..... for the Power in Certain Surrender Leads with Controlled Submissions. ........ and that is the Phase directly after Warriors and Hostilites have been Vanquished....... And the Peace Dividend which has always formerly been Squandered by Lack of Communications and Low Levels of Intelligence.

    Past Deficiencies which are no Longer Present for Excuses.

  19. PunkTiger
    Paris Hilton

    Cherry picking

    I'll stick with Google, thanks. Whenever I hear Bing, I think "cherries" or "Crosby," not "search engine."

    Paris, because when it comes to cherries... oh snap, I went there!

  20. James Butler

    @Michael Fremlins

    You searched for "Big Sky" and were disappointed that the result you wanted, a reference to an obscure band from years and years ago, was not the top entry in Google's search results?

    That's not a bug, that's a feature. Your vague query returned vague results with Google providing you with a top result that has been most popular with its users. There's no mystery how it works.

    We used to say GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you can't be bothered to be more explicit, you can't expect any search engine to figure out what you really want without a couple of guesses thrown in.

    "Big Sky" is Montana's state nickname, like New Jersey's is "The Garden State", so anyone who searched for that term would likely see something from New Jersey ahead of the movie of that same name's website. If you want good results, make good searches. Maybe like "Big Sky + Siberia", which in Google returns only one link in the top ten that is NOT about the band and the song.

  21. 4irw4y
    Thumb Up

    Reg Joint Forces In Progress

    @ Michael Fremlins -

    "felines output" is still at the pole position, and - that's the event of the week - , "Siberia" rises to the 3rd place in search.


  22. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Hey, isn't Ballmer a retired ....

    Marine general? Would that put him in the same security/snooping circles as the founder of Huawei? Just a thought for a those people out there who aren't yet worried about their security, but certainly should be.

    Black helicopter because they already watch us too much.

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