How do you compete with Google, without being Google?
You become more like Yahoo!
Today, Microsoft announced the addition of a very un-search-engine-like entertainment portal at http://www.bing.com/entertainment.
Rather than traditional Google simplicity, Bing’s entertainment page is much more reminiscent of the Yahoo! entertainment portal and is probably a good harbinger of what Microsoft is planning to launch to compete against Google’s market domination.
However, is this really what people want?
Bing said 76% of users polled “want one online destination for entertainment options to eliminate clutter,” and I concur. I’m just not certain that under the Bing brand is the best place for it to appear.
Microsoft appears to have a little schizophrenia about their offerings too.
Within the Bing Entertainment interface (and as the roll-in to the first video I watched), Bing is promoting “the new MSN” which, funny enough, *also* has an entertainment section!
Microsoft’s own users “want one online destination” so why offer two?
I certainly believe Microsoft’s domination of the desktop and browser via their operating system offers them a chance to dominate valuable and profitable verticals online, unfortunately this Bing addition illustrates the strategic difference between Apple, with a singular focus, and Microsoft, whose strategy appears to be “throw a lot against the wall, and see what sticks.”
Although I’m a big believer in trying new initiatives, Microsoft needs to focus to avoid consumer confusion.
After spending a massive amount of marketing dollars on the Bing brand, it would be prudent (and just plain intelligent) to support those efforts with a singular brand strategy and singular online destination.
Because, Microsoft… that’s exactly what 76% of your prospective audience really wants.