According to the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine, in at least one of its previous incarnations Bing.com was a Web service that aimed to "deliver snail mail at Internet speeds." Yes, that's right -- it was designed to speed up postal mail delivery. According to the BingMail brochure [PDF], instead of printing out a doc, putting it in an envelope, licking the envelope, adding a stamp, and dropping it in the mailbox, you'd send it to Bing.com, and they would print out the doc, put it in an envelope, lick it, add a stamp, and drop it in the mailbox.
Hmm, I wonder why that never caught on.
So maybe this is why Microsoft chose "Bing." It plans to make real-time search as fast and efficient as dropping letters in the mail. And to spend $100 million beating us over the head with ads that tell us how good the envelopes taste.
Do you think Microsoft can pull off a search service that's actually worth using? Post your thoughts below or e-mail me direct: firstname.lastname@example.org.