Bing promotes startup culture in Microsoft with "Bing Incubation Project"

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Mar 07, 2014 05:57 AM EST

Microsoft may be a behemoth with a workforce reaching thousands but the team at Bing is doing its best to promote a culture of innovation in the manner of the startups, VentureBeat reported.

As one of the youngest departments at Microsoft, Bing was the result of Microsoft's purchase of Powerset in a $100 plus million deal. The team at Bing is trying to come up with a search engine that would rival that of Google but since it's an underdog at the moment, Bing Corporate Vice President Derrick Connell is ramping up its new product development efforts and putting up innovation programs. The "Bing Incubation Project" is one of these initiatives, the report said.

Connell told VentureBeat in a phone interview, "We had this theory about a year ago, which we called 'Liberating Innovation. Our mission is to get new products out to the market every day."

Under the incubation project, which Connell started to test a few months ago, any employee at Microsoft who has an idea that will help Bing, can make a pitch to senior executives and managers every six weeks. Should the group of senior leaders find merit in it then they may opt to provide resources using their own budgets. Connell said, "A manager might decide to throw in a few thousand machines or a top designer or a marketing person."

Bing already implemented its own take of auto-suggest in its search platform, an idea which it got from the first pitching session. Users will notice that when they do a search about a particular term, contextual information also appears in the search box, the report said.

With Nadella at the helm, the corporate culture at Microsoft could also undergo a transformation from one that was ridden with bureaucracy which prevented the blossoming of new ideas, according to a Vanity Fair report. Constellation Research Principal Analyst Ray Wang told VentureBeat in an email, "I feel this new energy at the company, which will be interesting to watch. We're seeing a transformation at Microsoft in different divisions. There's a hunger and fire to win again."

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