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Steve Ballmer on Bing! May 28, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in D7 All Things Digital.
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steve-ballmerSteve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft

I ran into Steve in the lobby of the hotel in the early AM.  I was returning from a short morning run and Steve was heading out for his run.  His “assistant” was coordinating their route after getting some input from the hotel staff.  I said hello thinking that the best route was to stay along the trail that runs adjacent to the golf course.  Hearing that they planned a different route, I decided to keep that suggestion to myself since Steve would be kicking off the D7 session in about an hour with a big announcement.

Fast forward to the session.  Steve is here to make his big announcement.  But first a bit of discussion about the economy and what Microsoft is doing to reallocate its operations…

Steve says that he believes in the “long term”

What we are experiencing today is “normal” – all the money that has evaporated from the economy… Consider most of that GONE.  We are building from here now and have what we have…

Ballmer says this is a “different recession.”

In a recession implies that you sort of go down and go up. In this case, i think this is money that’s just got to come out of the economy. … we’re really resetting the economy. Maybe we should think of today as normal and yesterday as the blue-bird.” So how long will this continue, asks Walt. Ballmer says to think things will return to the good-old-days quickly is naive. … “Is this a 50 year phenomenon? I don’t think so. But it’s not going to be over in three months, either.”

We need to have “great people” in order to execute on things.  Make sure that you don’t interlock strategies or “do” interlock strategies – we have good talent and hire well.

I’ve got seven children that I love (thinking about the different lines of business at Microsoft) – You can’t ask me which one that I love the most. Some are young, some are growing up and having children of their own. They are at different levels of maturity.

Apple has done good stuff.  Blackberry has done some good stuff.  PC business is still big – netbooks, etc is the vibrance in all of our children.

bingBing is the new name for Microsoft search.

Steve Balmer Introduces Bing here

Verb-up! is important.

You got to build a brand “step by step”

BallmerIt will take a while before people say “I’m going to ‘bing’ that” like they say ‘google that'”

Name is short, easy to say, works globally, have to get a URL clearance, – there are not a lot of issues to cross to get a 4-letter URL…

The focus of bing during the demo was toward trying to order and present good results on search and avoid having users hit the “back button”.

Ballmer brings out Yusef Mehdi to demo Bing.

The BING product is going live on June 3. From a UI perspective it’s box and a button format with screensaver-esque background.

Cool feature – Best Match denotes an official or definitive site — the site we know to be authoritative. Instant Answer — Answers to obvious questions delivered along with search returns, a search for Oscars immediately returns a result for who won an Academy Award. Search for UPS automatically returns customer service number at the top of the page.

Walt asks to search on “Microsoft.” Much laughter, but the search return does feature a customer service number.  The “customer service number” is shown for all service providers as a component of returned search results.