Like the Zune before it, Microsoft's Bing has always been a bit of a joke. As Stephen Colbert once perfectly summed it up: "Bing is a great website for doing Internet searches. I know that, because I Googled it."
Well, if the rumors about the Bing Fund are true, it's entirely possible people will soon be able to discuss Microsoft's also-ran "decision engine" with a straight face. According to rumors with legit sources run down by ZD Net, Microsoft is poised to reveal the Bing Fund, an incubator effort with a bit of twist. Namely, as it's called the Bing Fund, Microsoft is hoping to be "working with startups and accelerators to bring a wave of innovation to OSD." OSD is Microsoft's Online Services Division, or the part of the company that comprises Bing, MSN, AdCenter and other online tools for advertising.
More information on the enterprise comes from Microsoft's own jobs site, which has this listing for a creative director for the fund. It reads, in part:
We are seeking a world-class senior designer with demonstrated ability to design compelling software experiences that are adored by users. The Bing Fund portfolio includes startups working on the web, desktop, mobile and console. Because of the pace and variety of Bing Fund startups, the type of work can vary hugely. We are looking for the whole package: someone who can go from a concept - articulating the high level concept - to driving the experience from incubation through to creation of production assets. You have demonstrated ability to effectively partner with developers and entrepreneurs to shepherd end to end experiences from concept to ship. You have knowledge of natural user interface (NUI) paradigms and have experience in designing experiences with multiple input modalities. You are a great creator, collaborator, and communicator.
If you think you qualify, obviously, it's something to keep tabs on. Or mouse trails, as the case may be, if you're on a PC.
Oh, and if you want to read up more on angel investing, check out this recent post Jabez LeBret did for Inc. Well -- the site you're reading now!
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.