08 July 2009

For the last 15 years, Microsoft’s master business plan seems to have been, “Wait until somebody else has a hit. Then copy it.”

And now we have yet another me-too effort. It’s something called Bing, and it’s the latest iteration of Microsoft’s multiyear attempt to imitate Google.

The name, presumably, is supposed to evoke the sound of a winning game-show bell. The cynics online, however, joke that Bing is an acronym for “But It’s Not Google.”

Here’s the shocker, though: in many ways, Bing is better.

That’s quite a statement, of course — almost heresy. But check it out yourself. It’s easy to compare the two, thanks to sites like bing-vs-google.com. Here, you’re shown search results from both Bing and Google, side by side, on a split screen.

But search services are constantly in flux. They’re online, so their creators can keep refining them without making you install anything. Bing will keep getting better — but so, inevitably, will Google. If Google doesn’t eventually respond by making its own results more manageable in Bingish ways, I’ll eat my hat.

Finally, people won’t start dumping Google en masse; Google is a habit. Everyone already knows how to work it, and it may even be built right into your Web browser. But if you value your time, you should give Bing a fling.

State of the Art - Bing, the Imitator, Often Goes Google One Better - News Analysis - NYTimes.com.

I, personally, have not tried Bing.  Google does what I want, and, as Pogue says, it’s a habit on some level.  When I want information, I know Google will get it. I’m not interested in “testing out” alternative searches. Based on this, perhaps I should give Bing a try. If I can break my habit.

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