A response from Microsoft

May 29, 2009, 5:09 PM UTC

BingYesterday I offered what I believe was a surprisingly mature, incredibly modulated response to the Microsoft (MSFT) announcement that it was appropriating my brand with its new search engine: Bing.  In response to my moderate outrage, the internet lit up like a roman candle. Quite a few fine outlets either simply re-ran my news release or had their own thoughts on the subject. Here are some of my favorites: 

The Big Money, which got picked up on Reuters… 

… Wired



… The Daily Beast

… and even the august Wall Street Journal

If you read the comments that attend these postings, it’s clear that some people got it and some really didn’t. A bunch of technoids compared me with Spike Lee, who sued Spike TV when it changed its name from whatever it used to be. Others scolded me for forgetting to mention Bing Crosby, although they might have been kidding. One group that DID get it, I’m a little sorry to say, is the gang over at Microsoft Search. They replied to my polite onslaught as follows: 

A Letter to Bing

Dear Bing (the Author),

We couldn’t help sit up and take notice of your offer of services from one Bing to another.  We were moderately surprised and mildly excited. As you might have guessed, today is quite a big day for us.  Even so, we dropped everything when we saw your press release this morning.  After an emergency meeting (three people were invited, all declined), we’ve decided to take you up on your offer.  We’re not certain what exactly this would involve. We’re not certain it would pay much (nothing, actually) but we look forward to starting a dialogue and hope we can work together soon.  Let’s do lunch. In the meantime we are sending you a case of moderately priced cigars.

 Your pals,


It’s clear I’ve got them on the ropes.