Has Microsoft created some serious competition to Google or has that opportunity “bing and gone”?
I think this is the first time in Openbytes history that I’ve reviewed a Microsoft product. To be honest I thought that product would be Window 7 as I expected an earlier RTM then October 22nd.
So lets take a look at Microsofts “not Google” answer to a search engine decision engine, which we first heard about sometime ago codenamed as Kumo.
For the few who don’t know, Bing is a search engine which Microsoft have said is actually a “decision engine”, presumably so that if it doesn’t succeed in knocking off Google, they can save face by claiming it was never competition to it and conversly if it did unsurp Google then they can still claim the credit and adoration of their shareholders (IMO)
So how does it look? Currently in Beta, attractive and simple is the best way to describe it and I must say it is rather appealing compared to Google, which I have long believed required a facelift, and the changing logo’s do little to help.
Would it be too much to ask for Google to undergo a little cosmetic surgery once in a while? I’ll let you decide.
My first search was with the term “Iron Maiden” in Video’s. I ran this search on both Google and Bing and the results were…pretty much the same. I’m trying to decide which interface I prefer in respect of the video results and surprisingly I am looking more favorably at Microsoft’s Bing, but thats purely on the basis of aesthetics, nothing more.
I ran various other searches “68k demo scene” was one, displaying web pages, images and videos. In this case only 1 video was found with Bing, whereas Google reported 63. I think the point is, we can argue all day over search terms, so I would conclude that the results are pretty much the same for both. If anyone has any examples to the contrary then please by all means quote them.
Speed wise the Bing beta returned results at pretty much the same speed as Google and whilst I made no exact scientific measurement, for me the speed was no different.
A series of strange incidents?
In related news, ZDNET is reporting that IE6 is defaulting to Bing as its search page. Strange? Well it is (IMO) if you consider that IE7 is not affected and the alleged figure of 60% of business use IE6. You can read that article here.
PC Advisor is reporting that their initial tests steered them in the direction of Microsoft services. You can read the full article on this here.
Search engines are a very personal experience and theres no one answer to please everyone. For me personally after testing, I will be sticking with Google.
I can’t say that I’ve found Bing bad. Infact, presentation wise I think its more pleasing than Google. Is this enough to be a Google beater? IMO no, simply because whilst I think that Bing is better presented, Google is already established and the results achieved with Bing were no more or less relevant. I did like the image previews enlarging as you hovered over them and as I said earlier I liked the video results presentation.
I said earlier I believe Microsoft have tried to prempt the allegation of failure by claiming that Bing is not a search engine it a “decision engine” and I’m quite sure that should it actually take away Googles market share then it will claimed as a search engine by Microsoft.
I personally see nothing here though that challenges Google’s “Throne”, if both products had been released at the same time then things may have been different, but that didn’t happen and in my opinion it shows Microsoft coming to the party late (again). I read a comment by a poster (I can’t remember where) who said that Microsoft was like your Grandfather trying to be trendy and fit in with the youth only to not quite “get it” I certainly think this is true. I also would like people to consider why the Microsoft name is hardly visible on the homepage of Bing? Could it be Microsoft is aware of its “image” and trying to distance itself from one that its created over the years with the issues we’ve read about before?
Ill let you answer that, but consider this, if as the Microsoft faithful like to remind us “Everyone loves Microsoft products” shouldn’t the Microsoft logo have been displayed proudly on the homepage?
In respect of how its been recieved by others, I think it fair to say mixed. I always think that Twitter is a good indicator of public feeling on a product since it has a diverse spectrum of users (IMO) I think it fair to say (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that Bing has not recieved a global acceptance.
IMO the biggest hurdle in this will be the fact that Google is a household name, entrenched in the minds of most, infact you could say Google has become part of our vocabulary with people saying “google it”, “google me” etc. Can peoples switch to Bing so easily? I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Bing (as per www.dictionary.com) is defined as:
–noun British Dialect. a heap or pile.
Only time will tell if that comes to pass. As always your views are appreciated.
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org