Is Microsoft killing Bing?

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It looks like Microsoft is killing off the Bing brand name… and bringing back MSN right: MSN.

bing

In a brand strategy that seems to be increasingly randomly chosen, apparently the latest version of Windows Phone – 8.1 – sees the various Bing apps, such as Bing Finance being rebadged to remove the “Bing” name. The search app on Windows Phone – which used to be Bing Search – has now been named after Microsoft’s Siri-alike Cortana assistant.

Such a move would mark a big shift: A few years ago Bing was launched in a blaze of publicity – the intention being to challenge Google’s search engine hegemony, but Bing quickly became a punchline.

What’s particularly intriguing is that in getting rid of Bing, the company is bringing back the “MSN” name, which in years past has been applied to everything from instant messenger software to a web portal. What makes this amusing is that it is only a few years ago that “MSN” was nearly completely erased from Microsoft’s web properties in favour of “Live”.

Whether this brand shuffling will have any impact on services, or Microsoft products that are currently named “One” (like OneDrive and OneNote) remains unclear… could “Hotmail” be waiting in the wings for a big return?

James O’Malley