Last Thursday, tech giants Microsoft and Google each had a big announcement. The former officially announced its new search engine Bing, an announcement that the tech world knew was coming, as its latest attempt to reverse the tide of Google’s search dominance. The latter surprised its audience of developers with a deluge of information in its preview of Google Wave, an amalgam of email, IM, wiki/document editing, photo sharing, etc., all done in real-time, that according to its creators “is what email would look like if it were invented today.”
Google’s tsunami of an announcement drowned out Microsoft’s news for the day and as the swell grows its easy to forecast that the storm isn’t over. As developers join the flow and create their own applications, we will all feel the ripples for a long time. Never content to ride out a current success, Google seems ever capable of looking over the current crest for the next opportunity to catch more momentum. Bing’s release though, instead of being the watershed moment hoped for by Microsoft, may only turn out to be a drop in the bucket.
Ok, enough of that. In case you missed the point, I crammed a boat load (another one!) of metaphor into the preceding paragraphs to illustrate the branding effectiveness of Google Wave, which I think is a great name, especially when compared to Bing. A great name attaches itself like a barnacle (again!) to thoughts and feelings you already have thus making it more memorable. Wave does this fluidly (I can’t stop). Bing does not.
Take note of how a product is launched and you’ll see how confident a company is in it’s branding. Google Wave is introduced and the developers are wearing some cheap tshirts; Bing is annouced with an $80 million advertising budget. A good name “has legs.” It’s easy to talk about. A bad name has an advertising plan while a good name IS the advertising plan.
Branding aside, both products look nice. I did a few searches on Bing and the results look fine. But I’m so tied into Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, etc. that I don’t think I’ll be spending much more time getting used to it. I also watched the video of the Wave presentation, and it looks like another home run for Google.