In a recent interview with Fast Company, Microsoft's Adam Sohn acknowledged that the word "Bing," unlike "Google," is hardly ever used as a verb, but he doesn't seem too concerned about it. Sohn, Bing's general manager of influencer marketing, went on to argue that the fate of each search engine would ultimately be determined by quality, rather than linguistic ubiquity.
"I think we’re conflicted but happy if someone said ‘Google it’ but they were going to Bing and giving us the query," Sohn explained, comparing the search rival to Kleenex, whose brand has become similarly synonymous with generic tissue paper. "The thing about Kleenex is once you pull it out of the box, it looks exactly the same, whereas with online products, the brands are a bit more forward. So if you say, ‘I’m going to Google it,’ and you go to Bing — cause that’s what you have set as the default — over time, you’re going to understand the brand that you are using."
In 2009, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told the New York Times that he liked the name Bing because it had the potential to "verb up" and become part of a broader lexicon. The company has made efforts to raise its search engine's profile in recent months, including a "Bing it on" TV ad and product placement on Hawaii Five-0, but Sohn says that unlike Zune's "squirt" feature, "verbiness" has never been a strategic priority for Bing. "We don't have an explicit strategy to go chase the verbiness," he said. "We don't have that as a goal — like we're not spending money [on it]. We've never tried to verb it."
Mike Nichols, Bing's corporate VP and chief marketing officer, says even Microsoft employees have been reluctant to use the term as a verb. "Some people say the verb — sometime they say, 'Hey, Bing this,'" Nichols told Fast Company. "But it's rare."