Microsoft hopes you’ll soon Bing instead of Google

By Nicole Norfleet, St. Pete Times Staff Writer
In Print: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

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Bing me. Bing it. It’s time to Bing and decide. Prepare yourself as Microsoft wages its all-out advertising assault on Web-surfing lingo.

Last week, the software giant launched its new online search engine, Bing. It’s spending an estimated $80 million to $100 million on a campaign to shape as a “decision engine” for consumers.

What will you find there?

Bing focuses on four experiences: making a purchase, planning a trip, researching a health condition and finding a local business.

Like Google, Bing also provides tools to search videos, images, news and maps updated with real-time traffic info.

Bing enters a search engine landscape dominated by Google, which holds more than 81 percent of the global market, according to statistics by Market Share. Yahoo, in second, garners a little more than 9 percent.

Will Bing’s consumer focus win people over?

Dewey Davis-Thompson, who owns Internet Adept Inc., a St. Petersburg Web design service, said he hasn’t seen anything beyond Bing’s glossy interface to capture his attention.

“They may catch up with Google, but I don’t know about surpassing it,” he said. “Google is a word like Coke — like Kleenex or Trojan.

“People don’t use a search engine. They Google.”

Will they also Bing?