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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 16, 2010 at 3:57 PM

MIX10: The Bing blue color that’s worth $80 million

LAS VEGAS — The shade of blue that Bing uses for links is worth $80 million.

Paul Rey, user experience manager for Bing, said his team intensively researched what kind of blue to use for search results. They sent various users flights of blue shades, including different hues and different saturations.

The blue color used for links in Bing’s predecessor, Live Search, was more pale. “Live Search was a faint blue that was like, ‘Hey … here are your results,’ ” Rey said. “It lacked confidence.”

Based on user feedback, the team estimated the best blue color could generate $80 million to $90 million in ad sales.

And the color is … #0044CC. It’s a shade of cornflower with undertones of purple.

“We wanted to try red links or brown links and no color,” Rey said. But in this case, the science of clicks and art came together for blue. “It was really hard to argue with the success of this color,” he said.

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