Looks like I was giving Microsoft too much credit when I wondered if “Bing” was a shortened form of “bada-bing” and might refer to the ease of finding what you want with its new search engine.
Cnet reports that in addition to branding the search engine, Microsoft is saddling several other products with the Bing brand name. Microsoft Farecast is now Bing Travel. Virtual Earth is now Bing Maps for Enterprise.
So, no. It doesn’t have anything to do with “bada-bing”–except, according to BusinessWeek, for introducing the brand with a gag video featuring James Gandolfini —or search for that matter. Microsoft’s criteria for choosing this brand name?
Microsoft chose Bing, Ballmer said, because it wanted a short one-syllable name that could “verb up”—in the way people say “Xeroxing” copies or “Googling” search results—and was inoffensive in several languages
In English, “bing” is tangentially related to concepts far afield from any brand promise associated with these Microsoft products. In other languages, it’s “inoffensive.”
But it’s short, and you can make a verb out of it.
Wow. That’s a very low bar. It’s a good thing Microsoft has boatloads of money to spend on building this brand, because the name isn’t pulling its own weight.