Student-created “Bing Automatic” app concept augments desktop with search engine

First and foremost, “Bing Automatic” is a completely conceptual idea envisioned by what appears to be a team of marketing students for a college coursework assignment, so apply a generous coating of salt. I’m not even sure if Microsoft’s Bing team has seen this.

Besides the actual app, what’s somewhat amusing is the brief that Microsoft provided to these students, as one student proclaims,

During my third semester my team and I were given a very simple brief from our live client Microsoft Bing: “Do something that will scare the shit out of Google.” Nearly every team delivered an advertising campaign for the pitch. We presented a way for them to increase search traffic by using the most universal software application on the planet, Microsoft Office.

B+ for effort. B for execution. A for presentation.

15 insightful thoughts

  1. Interesting idea. Of course, if MS does this and is even remotely successful in displacing Google because of it it’s only a matter of time before someone accuses them of “leveraging their Windows/Office monopoly to break into the search market”, and then the EU would force them to have a selection screen so you can pick different search engines (including Google and a whole bunch no one has ever heard of) for the automatic search. :P

    1. 1000 +1s. If any company, other than MS does this, it will be seen as a revolutionary idea that can change the computing world. But if MS does this, things will happen exactly as you said.

      1. You say that as if the regulators’ response would be unfair, rather than clearly correct.

        Do you really not see a difference between a random company creating this product and achieving huge market share by persuading everyone with a PC to download it because it’s such a neat product, and Microsoft creating it and achieving huge market share by bundling it wither every PC sold?

        If you have a >90% share of a market then, yes, you have a responsibility not to use that to monopolise a complementary market, a responsibility that companies not in that position don’t have. That’s how it works, for really fairly obvious reasons.

        And no, that really isn’t a reason to feel sorry for the company in the dominant position. How about feeling sorry for the companies that have to actually persuade people of the benefits of their product if they want them to download it.

    1. “If you have a >90% share of a market then, yes, you have a responsibility not to use that to monopolise a complementary market,”

      Sort of like Google (90%+ Search share in many countries, including most of Europe) not being allowed to flog Chrome and other Google properties right off its home page?

      1. > Sort of like Google (90%+ Search share in many countries

        Not really. 90% market share only gives an ability to abuse that market share if you’re in a market with non-zero switching cost, or where the company can raise barriers to entry to competitors. The switching cost of the search engine market is ~0 — if Bing becomes better, you can switch to it immediately and at no cost. (Compare with a high-market-share social networking site, which has an inherently high switching cost due to the network effect; or high-market-share company in a product market with high switching cost that tries to abuse it by only selling to stores that agree not to stock competitors products).

        > …flog[ging] Chrome and other Google properties right off its home page?

        Yeah, no. An advert isn’t bundling. The equivalent of that behaviour for Microsoft is their having a ‘Download Live Essentials’ start menu link, which they do, and no-one’s tried to ban it.

  2. Microsoft is really in a position to leverage their products by smartly integrating it with Windows, I’m now wondering why they hadn’t done this kind of thing yet. Google has a monopoly on Search right now.

  3. Bing just needs to get its relevance and comprehensive of search results right instead of trying to include features that aren’t that useful. It won’t get that right in another 10 years. And when they do, they will change the entire interface to something unusable.

  4. I love the concept of automatic answering or automatically displaying related content. This would be great to add it to kinect and augment people’s conversations.

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