Full disclosure: I work for Microsoft but not in Search.
I know MS has been spending a lot of money attempting to catch up to Google as a search tool. A year or so ago I attended a few internal meetings and saw data that showed objective tests placing search results above Yahoo! and nearly as good as Google. I expect the results are at least on par with Google by now, but still MS wasn’t getting the traffic anywhere close to that of Google.
It appears MS has decided that search quality wasn’t a deciding factor. Yes, the branding of “Live Search” sucked. “Bing”, to this non-marketing expert, appears to be much better. And I hope that will help. But what they are doing is much, much more than just rebranding it. Check out this video. It’s a decision engine, not just a search engine.
Coming soon: Bing.