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Microsoft should fire their marketing departments.

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#51213 (In Topic #11170)

Today Microsoft relaunched their search engine as 'Bing'. Before that it was called 'Live search' and before that it was called 'MSN Search'.

I don't know what marketing idiots are employed at Microsoft, but they don't seem to know a thing about building a brand. They keep renaming their products, or naming them in ways that are plain confusing. Brands have to stay consistent over the years and feel long-standing and defined. Let's take a few examples of Microsoft's erratic behaviour…

Windows naming:
Windows (num) -> Windows (year) -> Windows (name) -> Windows (num)
(that ignores the whole Windows NT thing from the past, which was weird in itself)

What the heck does ".net" mean? Well, five very different things actually:
  • A system for implementing web services (.net web service, an extension of the "SOAP" standard)
  • A set of Microsoft web applications
  • A single sign-on service
  • A set of desktop applications (.net messenger for example, or visual studio .net)
  • A competitor to Java: a new virtual machine and set of languages

What is Outlook? Well there's Office Outlook, and Outlook Express. You'd think Express was a cut down version? Well actually it is entirely different and entirely incompatible. And the Outlook Express evolution went…
Post offices -> Microsoft Internet Mail and News -> Windows Mail -> Outlook express -> Windows mail -> Windows live mail

MSN messenger -> Windows messenger (same program, but co-existed with MSN messenger on many PCs just for fun!) -> .net messenger -> Live messenger

How Microsoft programming technology language has changed over the years:
DDE -> OLE -> COM -> COM+ -> ActiveX -> .net

Even Internet Explorer has toggled back and forth between 'Microsoft Internet Explorer' and 'Windows Internet Explorer'.

It's no wonder Apple are doing so well when Microsoft are so clearly awful at making things accessible and understandable. The "iMac" came out in the mid-nineties if I remember correctly, and then Apple branding has since then been very consistent. They don't keep reinventing the wheel either- there's a nice smooth evolution. Every time I look at a new version of Windows, it seems they completely change how Explorer looks just for the heck of it.


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I searched Google for 'Bing' and the top result was Bing Crosby!

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