Speaking at All Things Digital's D7 conference in California, Ballmer said, "We want to do better in search. We're hoping to be one of the companies that moves the industry forward."
Although he wouldn't confirm the $100 million (£63 million) figure that Microsoft are reported to be spending on marketing Bing, Ballmer did say, "When I approved the budget, I gulped, and a gulp in a $60 billion company, well, that's a big gulp. It's not a substitute for innovation, but we need to build brand equity in addition to technology equity."
Demonstrating Bing at the conference, Ballmer showed how Bing gives preview clips of video search results and can 'mine' data sources to present relevant results, a bit like new search rival WolframAlpha.
On the decision engine's short, snappy name, Ballmer said, "Obviously we needed a better name. We needed a name that says this is all about search. Bing works globally, doesn't have negative connotations and people like to 'verb up'," referring to the habit of people using Google as a verb.
If you can't wait until next Wednesday to try Bing for real, head on over to http://discoverbing.com/behindbing, where you can see videos of Bing in action, watch some Microsoft talking heads say how great it is and see the results from sample queries.
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