“Google: Search So Good, Even Bing Uses It.” Microsoft caught in cookie jar AGAIN?

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Microsoft doesn’t seem to have much luck recently.  Now it seems “the secret is out” regarding alternatives, in many area’s of the market it certainly seems as if people are selecting to remove themselves from a Microsoft lifestyle.  Its very easy to claim success when your OS is stuffed onto virtually every new PC on the highstreet (with no regard as to the customers wishes) but as its now increasingly shown, when people are offered a chance to break away, they grab it with both hands.

Its being reported in a nutshell that Microsoft’s Bing is using search results from Google.  Google even took steps to set a “trap” in order to test their theory and judging by their reported results, Microsoft has been found again with its hand in the cookie jar.  I say “again” because there was an allegation of “theft” at the end of 2009 involving Microsoft – you can read more on that towards the end of the article.

The Google blog had this to say:

Those results from Google are then more likely to show up on Bing. Put another way, some Bing results increasingly look like an incomplete, stale version of Google results—a cheap imitation.

At Google we strongly believe in innovation and are proud of our search quality. We’ve invested thousands of person-years into developing our search algorithms because we want our users to get the right answer every time they search, and that’s not easy. We look forward to competing with genuinely new search algorithms out there—algorithms built on core innovation, and not on recycled search results from a competitor. So to all the users out there looking for the most authentic, relevant search results, we encourage you to come directly to Google. And to those who have asked what we want out of all this, the answer is simple: we’d like for this practice to stop.

and for me a cheap imitation” sums it up very nicely.  As if echoing what I have said many times about the perception of Microsoft, here are a selection of comments from readers of the Guardian.

Its MS. Copying is what they do.

and

A really sad affair for what was once a great company. Microsoft continues to rely on its monopolistic Windows and Office cash cows to fund failures……

or how about

I’m not impressed with the insidious Microsoft adverts that use bing as a verb.

and

I’ve yet to see anything original coming out of Microsoft. Either copied from Apple, Sony and now Google.

and

People are not switching to Bing

and

continuining to make out like Bing is all their own work, and keeping their mouth shut until they’re caught out.

Source: Guardian

Deja-vu? The Plurk/Juku incident

So its all rather a sorry state of affairs and I seem to remember similar a incident with Jurk/Pluku last year.  Lets remind ourselves of that particular allegation:

Microsoft has indefinitely suspended its Chinese microblogging service MSN Juku after admitting that it “copied” code used to create the site.  A vendor contracted to work for the software giant was caught lifting code from a rival Canadian start-up, Plurk.  According to Plurk as much as 80% of the basecode was “stolen directly”.

Source: BBC News

So has Microsoft been caught with its hand in the cookie jar again?  – I’ll let you decide and maybe also consider: Is this what the once mighty Microsoft is reduced to? Mobile phones playing catchup, people moving from their products and being accused of “lifting” the work of others? add to that its “Loving the Open-source” with one face, then stabbing it in the back with patent manuvers. I recently wrote regarding the allegedly massive losses Microsoft suffered online and have to ask, are these allegations the result of desperation by Microsoft?

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com / TwitterIdenti.ca

You can also contact me on Skype: tim.openbytes

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Lefty says:

    I’m afraid it’s not as simple as all that, although Google—which has benefitted mightily from untrammeled use of other people’s information—would certainly be happy to see you swallowing their story hook, line, sinker, rod and boat.

    Fact is that Google created a “honeypot”, and seeded Bing with it themselves, using IE’s search bar. And it’s no secret that IE routes search results back to Redmond. (Trust me: Google does exactly the same things themselves. This was nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt: they had Matt Cutts running through the audience at the Farsight conference, showing people the “results” on his laptop. Stay classy, Google.)

    1. openbytes says:

      Hi Lefty.

      You may well be right, the allegation though taken in context with Plurk, the losses online and the fact that had the allegation been completely off the mark then Google would surely be receiving a court summons? MS is not exactly backward in coming forward in respect of court cases.

      Kind regards
      Tim.

      1. Lefty says:

        By the same token, if Google’s allegations are accurate, where’s their lawsuit?

        1. openbytes says:

          Very true and that is why its probably a 1-1 draw.

    2. Hey Lefty, let’s look at this from another point of view.

      I’m working at a manufacturer. I have a suspicion that one of our competitors is copying us, but can’t prove it. At about this time we decide to move out catalog online, and I design and add a fake part into the database.

      Two months later an order comes from a company we’ve never heard of before for that part. Since I’d thought things through, I have an actual fake part drawn up. And we could make it and sell it. Should we?

      Wayne

      PS: This did happen.

  2. Richard Chapman says:

    Google setup the honeypot not to show that Microsoft was stealing search data from a honeypot, but to demonstrate that Microsoft had done just that with real search data. Google didn’t say, “Hey, let’s see if we can trap Microsoft somehow”. They knew Microsoft was pulling some sneaky “stuff”. They just had to demonstrate how they were doing it. Judging from the fierce spin I’ve seen, Google hit a perfect 10.

    If Google were to take this into the realm of legal matters we wouldn’t know about it for a couple of months. The wheels of justice grind slowly, just try to avoid being under them when they do.

    1. openbytes says:

      Both sides have their arguments and for me I can only repeat the allegation. My conclusion in the case of Google would be 6 of one, half a dozen of the other although it is no secret that Bing is hardly up there in usage with Google. Having said that, there appears to be an admittion from Microsoft in respect of Plurk and so this hardly for me puts MS in any favourable light when it protests its innocence.

      Thanks for commenting.

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