Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Businesses Google The Internet

Does Bing Have Google Running Scared? 560

Posted by kdawson
from the or-perhaps-maraschino dept.
suraj.sun alerts us to an anonymous-source story up at the NY Post, not what we would normally consider a leading source of tech news, claiming that Microsoft's introduction of Bing has alarmed Google. "...co-founder Sergey Brin is so rattled by the launch of Microsoft's rival search engine that he has assembled a team of top engineers to work on urgent upgrades to his Web service, The Post has learned. Brin, according to sources..., is himself leading the team of search-engine specialists in an effort to determine how Bing's crucial search algorithm differs from that used by [Google]. 'New search engines have come and gone in the past 10 years, but Bing seems to be of particular interest to Sergey,' said one insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The move by Brin is unusual, as it is rare these days for the Google founders to have such hands-on involvement in day-to-day operations at the company, the source added." CNet's coverage of the rumor begins with the NY Post and adds in Search Engine Land's speculation on what the world of search would look like if Yahoo exited the field.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Does Bing Have Google Running Scared?

Comments Filter:
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:24PM (#28330407)
    Nothing to see here, move along...
    • by jadin (65295) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:29PM (#28330437) Homepage

      And Seinfeld falls into this statement where exactly?

      • by selven (1556643) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:32PM (#28330471)
        The word "best" does not mean "good", in this context it means "everything else [Microsoft does] is even worse"
        • by jadin (65295) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:47PM (#28330559) Homepage

          Microsoft does marketing better than everything else they do? I don't buy it. Embrace Extend Extinguish comes to mind for starters. I'd say their ability to control the markets they are in is also more effective than their marketing. I'm sure there's more if i cared to keep going. There's a reason we've seen so many anti-trust lawsuits against them, and it isn't because they are great at marketing. I'd even venture that if what they were "best" at was marketing, they wouldn't be the target of so much hatred and scandalous news we hear of every other day at slashdot.

          • by schon (31600) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @09:08PM (#28330717)

            Microsoft does marketing better than everything else they do?

            Yes. They're a marketing company that has some tech leanings - it's been this way for as long as I've been into computers (the early 80's)

            I don't buy it. Embrace Extend Extinguish comes to mind for starters.

            You mean the marketing thing they need to do because they're incapable of engineering something good themselves?

            I'd say their ability to control the markets they are in is also more effective than their marketing.

            Umm, marketing is how they control their markets.

            I'm sure there's more if i cared to keep going

            Maybe you should, because the examples you gave only undermined your point.

            • by ClosedSource (238333) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @09:45PM (#28330925)

              "Yes. They're a marketing company that has some tech leanings - it's been this way for as long as I've been into computers (the early 80's)"

              Sure, who can forget the famous 1984 commercial and the 16 page insert in Newsweek magazine for Windows 1.0 .. oh wait.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by node 3 (115640)

                "Yes. They're a marketing company that has some tech leanings - it's been this way for as long as I've been into computers (the early 80's)"

                Sure, who can forget the famous 1984 commercial and the 16 page insert in Newsweek magazine for Windows 1.0 .. oh wait.

                Correct, because the best defense from an allegation is to find an example of someone else doing something similar to the allegation.

                Cf. Republicans brining up Clinton whenever Bush is being criticized.

            • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @10:23PM (#28331101) Journal
              You're making a mistake a lot of people make, and that is grouping 'everything that is not tech' into the marketing category. The GP is right, Microsoft is horrible at marketing, have you seen their commercials? Where do you want to go today? Or the infamous Seinfeld shoe commercial? How about the words they choose, like Zune, or WinCE? Compare those to the little logos picked by Intel, the most successful of which may be 'Intel Inside.' Managers had no idea what Intel even was, but they knew they wanted it inside. Intel is always doing some little thing like that, whether Intel inside, or MMC, or the Intel Bunny suits. Compare Intel's website with Microsoft's, which one seems to suck you in more? Which one seems directed at helping you buy? That is marketing. I mean, have you seen Developers Developers, Developers? Do you really think anyone decided to try Microsoft because of that?

              No, Microsoft is not good at marketing. What they do well is business. They have the sharpest business techniques you will ever see a company run. They originally got in the door by convincing IBM to give them the deal. All the way along, they've been making deals that somehow turn out best for them. With windows, they started by playing nice with IBM as long as possible, even promoting OS/2 for a while, until the precise moment when they needed to backstab them. With Netscape, Wordperfect, they kept on pushing their average products until the other companies made a mistep, and they were ready to pounce. If Google ever DOES make a mistake, they will be ready to pounce.

              THAT'S what Microsoft does. They are always waiting and ready when their competitor stumbles.
              • by slarrg (931336) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:24PM (#28331485)
                You're confusing marketing with advertising. There's much more to marketing than advertising and Microsoft is exceedingly good at the former despite being poor at the latter.
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by phantomfive (622387)
                  Great. Give some examples of their great marketing, and back yourself up. Otherwise your post is just words in the wind.
                  • by slarrg (931336) on Monday June 15, 2009 @12:17AM (#28331799)
                    Oh, I'm sorry, I thought your own examples would suffice once you recognized there was a difference between marketing and advertising. For example, Bill Gates convincing IBM to allow them to write the DOS for them is pure marketing whereby Bill Gates created his entire software empire by creating a market out of software sales that would have been developed in-house and given away by IBM if he had not done so. In the case of Netscape and Wordperfect, Microsoft made it easy for users of MS alternatives to read competitors' files while only creating content in their own standards which many here call "embrace, extend and extinguish." This is a pure marketing ploy to make your product the only one in the market which reads everything while making it difficult for your competitors to read your output. This makes using MS products the path of least resistance for those reading documents while forcing everyone else to also buy MS products to read the documents produced. This was not an engineering decision but a carefully considered marketing decision.

                    But these are just your examples. Microsoft has exhibited marketing excellence throughout its existence from choosing to offer discounts to computer manufacturers who do not sell systems with alternative OSes to MCSEs and Microsoft Solution providers who are provided with primarily marketing resources rather than technical resources. Apparently, much of what you think is just "business" is the particular subset of business known as marketing.
                    • by HermMunster (972336) on Monday June 15, 2009 @01:13AM (#28332053)

                      Your example is not Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. It has nothing to do with it. The idea of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish in example is:

                      Java was developed by Sun as an open standard for programming applets that were OS independent.

                      Microsoft licensed that technology under the terms that they not modify it to make it platform specific.

                      Microsoft ignored those terms making their VM extensions specific to Windows. They did this so that developers would develop for their VM/implementation thus failing to support the open standards/platform. This training of Developers Developers Developers to the Microsoft way was the extend portion of that business tactic.

                      Sun saw this and sued Microsoft. Microsoft was ordered to remove the VM from Windows as it was a violation of the terms of the license. Essentially they embraced Java, then extended it, then attempted to extinguish it but Sun go the upper hand. Then end result was close to a multi-billion dollar judgment against Microsoft.

                      That's embrace, extend, extinguish. You are talking in terms of proprietary vendor lock in.

                    • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday June 15, 2009 @02:05AM (#28332281) Journal
                      Good, that's a much better post.

                      However, your point is weakened by your lack of attention to the details of reality. IBM sought out Microsoft's help with DOS, it wasn't the other way around. It was a big deal: for the first time in history IBM built the entire computer by subcontractors. This wasn't marketing, it was IBM looking for someone to build an OS for them. Their first choice, Digital, rejected them.

                      Let's look at Netscape: it wasn't the 'extra features' that made the difference (I assume this is what you mean by making files that competitors couldn't read), if that were all Netscape would have won because they were doing it too. Also, I don't remember any websites having trouble rendering in Netscape during the 90s, so Microsoft's attempts weren't very effective. In the end, it was Netscape creating a bloated, inefficient browser that killed them. IE WAS better, so there was no reason to switch to Netscape anymore. It wasn't Microsoft who killed them, it was Netscape who killed themselves. Microsoft kept trying until finally Netscape tripped and fell.

                      You're also making a stretch to consider vendor lock-in strategies to be marketing. Marketing is finding out what your customers need, and letting your customers know that you can provide something they want. Vendor lock-in doesn't really fall into that category.

                      Microsoft has exhibited marketing excellence throughout its existence from choosing to offer discounts to computer manufacturers who do not sell systems with alternative OSes to MCSEs and Microsoft Solution providers who are provided with primarily marketing resources rather than technical resources.

                      I don't know if I would consider this marketing either. It's once again a trap that wouldn't work except Microsoft has enough power in the market to bully OEMs. It only works because their 'customers' lack any sort of choice. It's more like strong-armed-negotiation-tactics, and potentially abuse of a monopoly.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by GlassHeart (579618)

                With windows, they started by playing nice with IBM as long as possible, even promoting OS/2 for a while, until the precise moment when they needed to backstab them. With Netscape, Wordperfect, they kept on pushing their average products until the other companies made a mistep, and they were ready to pounce.

                I'm no fan (anymore) of Microsoft's, but having actually lived through that era I feel I should contribute my observations. IBM was ready to kill Microsoft, and OS/2 was precisely the weapon to do so, so

                • by jocknerd (29758) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:32AM (#28334353)

                  You do know that Microsoft wrote OS/2 for IBM? And basically sabotaged it when they started working on Windows 3.0. IBM basically had to rewrite OS/2 themselves because it was so crappy. And Microsoft was first out the door with Windows 95 apps by months compared to Lotus and Wordperfect. Why? They were using secret API's the others had no access to. Believe me, the Microsoft of the 90's cheated at every opportunity to get where they were. They were cool in the 80's. Cheaters in the 90's and just plain old incompetent this decade. Maybe they are turning the corner with Bing and Windows 7. Who knows?

              • by slashdot_commentator (444053) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:24AM (#28332639) Journal

                Commercials are "important" to marketing, but commercials are not marketing. I'm not aware of any major corporation that does its own commercials. They generally hire an outside ad agency, that then does the commercials, and whatever research defined by the marketing director. I wouldn't judge a marketing director solely by its failed commercial campaigns. (But failure to capture/gain a market is reason to fire one, and crappy commercials would be a culprit.)

                Marketing is figuring out what the status quo is, then figuring what nature of product can be introduced that makes money, then defining the strategy to maximize market share/profits. When you think of marketing, think Steve Jobs and Apple, and how they got their overpriced products sold to a rabid minority. Yes, Microsoft does not have a genius marketing department, but breaking legs hasn't been what got Microsoft on top of the software world (even though MS excels at it and are quite eager to break legs).

                Windows was a strategic decision. The advantages of a GUI interface to the ungeek masses was pretty obvious after Apple came out with the Mac. Microsoft saw that IBM did not want to drive OS/2 into the consumer market, or was too inept to do so, and then decided they had to eat IBM's dinner. IBM whines about being backstabbed, because they're losers who never saw the importance of the consumer market to their market share. They had a technically superior product, talk about being bad marketers.

                It was WYSIWYG and the Office application suite that killed Wordperfect, and that was marketing's kill. Wordperfect sat clueless, then fell behind on what their customer base wanted. Late on WYSIWYG, then late on bundling a robust spreadsheet, presentation, and database apps to the wordprocessor. Why buy 2nd best or the oddball, when Microsoft sold you everything you needed, AND EVERYONE else used MS products (compatibility)?

                Finally, killing Netscape was a coup for BillyG, if you believe the Businessweek article. Bill groks that the Internet is the new market, Netscape already "owned" it, and Microsoft had to make a presence from NOTHING. He quickly figures out that Netscape makes all their money from the browser. So MS offers a free browser, and sucks all the financial oxygen from Netscape. Add an email client, and support for every internet gadget, and the only competitor to Microsoft is the amorphous internet giving away a free OS (until Google). THAT is marketing.

                Business tactics is creating a pricing scheme that puts only your OS on every computer built by a large manufacturer, and use it to threaten any manufacturer that tries to put on linux as an alternative.

                Microsoft does not wait for their competitors make a mistake. NO successful business waits for their competitor. Microsoft treats each competitor's product like a marathon. They're so rich (and somewhat talented), they'll just fall behind and pace the leader, letting him/her break the air while they draft. Eventually, Microsoft figures out when to make their move. It takes exceptional marketing to redefine the competition in a way that the end result is making more money.

                Bing is Microsoft's marketing answer to Google. The race isn't who puts out the best links to queries; the race is which search engine leads to the most sales. Bing may not generate superior search results to Google, but if you're looking to buy something, Microsoft is all over the experience. And its a simpler, more automated experience, because the unwashed masses are stupid, and appreciate people who make things easier for them without pointing out they are stupid. Advertisers will eventually want to throw money at Bing, because that's where they'll make more sales.

                The NY Post story is a planted POS story, because Ballmer is the dumbest CEO with a job. Sergey Brin is not a money guy, an ego guy, or a BillyG paranoia "I must always win" guy. Google management whistled Sergey in, because they're not technical enough to determine the response. Google management took a look at Bing, figured out what's MS's game, and will make their adjustments. Meanwhile, Google's working on its game changer, which will probably be some form of semantic web environment; the Holy Grail of Internet search.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by linhares (1241614)
              weill go on and BING for "Microsoft word torrent" and see for yourself who's the winner
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by HermMunster (972336)

              NO, embrace, extend, extinguish has nothing to do with this.

              Embrace, extend, extinguish is what they did with browser technology, with java technology, with Open GL, etc.

              They would, say in the case of Java do this:

              1) sign license

              2) create virtual machine for windows

              3) alter the java VM to add the ability to do some new and different things in Windows that you can't do in other OSes, such as Linux or Unix,etc.

              4) after the momentum is enough then declare Java (as Sun designed it) dead and that everyone should

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by causality (777677)

            Embrace Extend Extinguish comes to mind for starters. I'd say their ability to control the markets they are in is also more effective than their marketing. I'm sure there's more if i cared to keep going.

            Does "marketing" have a strict definition that could not be construed to include those things? I don't know the answer to that. I honestly thought that controlling or at least influencing the market was the primary goal of all marketing efforts and that the main difference between MS and other companies i

        • by motek (179836) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @09:18PM (#28330769) Homepage

          Yup, that explains their pitiful market share and the general dearth of resources, so easy to observe in what goes on over there. They are as good as gone...

      • by genner (694963) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:46PM (#28330553)

        And Seinfeld falls into this statement where exactly?

        Churro sales went through the roof after that commerical aired.
        I want one right now.....it still works.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Deathlizard (115856)

        As a marketing strategy, the Seinfield ads sucked but were interesting nonetheless.

        First of all, people were talking about them. Not exactly in a good way, but I can remember Slashdot posting article after article about them.

        The second thing was the subtle message in each one of them. Every one of them had something to do with Vista. for example:

        1) Bill Gates needing a Size 10 shoe instead of a size 9 = Vista needing a high end PC instead of a stripped down one.
        2) Family accusing Bill and Jerry of stealing

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Archimonde (668883)

          Bill Gates needing a Size 10 shoe instead of a size 9 = Vista needing a high end PC instead of a stripped down one.

          I have a feeling you're reading too much into it. Moreover, even if that was their message the analogy is completely wrong. People for the better part of their life use the same number of shoes. It would make just a little bit of sense if they were showing some boy/girl (which have different shoe number every year).

          But in any case you may have extremely subtle messages in a pile of junk but only 0,01% of the target population will understand it. But do you really want that? Why not send a hand signed mail t

    • by dhavleak (912889) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:43PM (#28330535)

      I agree.

      "Taking notice" might be an apt phrase to describe Google's reaction -- but even "concern" would be seriously overstating it -- never mind something like "panic" or "running scared".

      Having said that, it's nice to see some competition in search, just as it's nice to see Macs and Linux keeping Windows honest.

      • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @09:35PM (#28330869)
        You're probably correct, but by the same token, Google has taken over the search market by competing with incompetence.

        I'm not personally convinced that the Google engine is really that good, in fact by design it's all but worthless for certain types of query. Originally it was designed to be fast and to not need to be able to comprehend the content of the page. Over the years they've had to change that because of the gamesmanship that inevitably occurs when you're at the top. And for the queries that I like to make, it doesn't do any better job of finding things than the older MS search did.

        It's a sad state of affairs, but right now we should all be cheering on MS in their endeavor this one time, they are the only company right now that's even trying to bring Google into a more reasonable share of search queries.
        • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Monday June 15, 2009 @01:32AM (#28332149) Journal

          I agree with you. 99 times out of 100 when you enter a company's name, you get several hundred hits for web sites selling the company's product, but you won't find the link to the company you are looking for itself. Or if you are interested in trying to do some research on [pick any topic] and do a Google search using that topic as a starting point, you will get thousands of hits trying to sell you anything associated with it. But with the exception of a Wikipedia link usually a few links down, you won't find anything useful helping you to research your topic. And then there is the issue of revenue generating ads. As long as web sites don't throw pulsating, gibbering, and epileptic seizure inducing advertisements in their margins or banners, I don't have an issue with ads. They have to make money and pay for their servers etc. (I do use ad blocker plus, so I guess this makes me somewhat hypocritical about this since I never check to see how many static ads it filters out... my preference would be that it allows 100% of the static ads through... a bit of carrot to counter the whip... but who has time to verify this?). So those static ads with words like 'buy' and 'price' etc. could screw up the search as well (I guess depending on how static the ads get :) )

          People wonder why Wikipedia has gotten so popular. It is because it is the only place you can go on the internet, enter a search term, and have a reasonable expectation of getting a hit on the subject you want to learn about; without having to jump through all sorts of filtering hoops to ignore things like 'buy' or 'sale' or 'download'. Sure you can filter like that, but you also may be screwing your search at the same time. What if you are writing a paper on topics from actuators to zebras. You may want to know how much of your search topic items are bought each year, how much of a country's GDP was based on it, etc. while not wanting to buy any. You may end up filtering out sites that are useful to you. I gave a couple of random examples, but this can apply to almost anything.

          What I would like to see Google do (and all the other search engines too for that matter), is create an option and associated algorithm to break out web searches into two fundamental/gross search categories:

          • commercial searches - for businesses from which to buy from or do commercial research on... e.g. where can I buy tennis shoes, or CPUs, or cars (had to get a car analogy into the post somewhere) and for how much, etc., or trying to create a list of potential billing system vendors for your new company.
          • searches for research or information/informative sites. - e.g. (keeping with the two examples just above) how does the tennis shoe market affect workers in Indonesia?; what are the different kinds of CPUs or researching specific architectures; or why GM is such a good buy now; or what are the different kinds of billing systems, how do billing systems differ from one market segment to another... e.g. billing systems for telcos versus for electric companies

          I would like to see any progress on getting more meaningful results back from a search. I don't think we will ever see this since all the search engines generate their revenue through advertising. Ultimately, this means we are stuck knowing how much everything costs, but never able to find out what they are good for. :-)

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by kyrre (197103)

            I agree with you. 99 times out of 100 when you enter a company's name, you get several hundred hits for web sites selling the company's product, but you won't find the link to the company you are looking for itself.

            Care to come up with some examples? I just tried four company names and every one had the company as the first result. It might not be scientific but very far from 1 times out of 100 then? At this point you need 396 search queries that gives no match for the companys website within the first hundret results.

            Google is fine when searching for companies it seems. Asus even had a link to their norwegian site as the first result (I sit in Norway).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Prof.Phreak (584152)

      Microsoft is doing what it's best at - Marketing

      but but... that's exactly what the advertisement business is all about! It hasn't been about "search" in a long long time (not since maybe 2003 or so when Google's search results started to suck).

    • Microsoft is scaring Google because it delivers. It delivers a search engine that seems to beat Google at finding pr0n (see http://www.pcworld.com/article/165838/bing_goes_live_some_bloggers_shocked_to_find_porn.html [pcworld.com]).

      Now that's a big part of the market we're talking about. So Google is rightly scared out of its wits.

      Sorry ... can't fault Microsoft this time. It's finally delivering value to the masses.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:24PM (#28330409) Journal
    How the article paints it (and what sells newspapers):

    Google Drone: *bursts through the office doors* Fuhrer Brin, Fuhrer Brin! I've news that Microsoft's Bing service is gaining on us!
    Sergey Brin: JesusChristJesusChristJesusChrist what're we gonna do?! Oh god oh god, we are so fucked! *kicks over his desk and gets up to pace wildly about the room* Why is there no coke on this goddamn coffee table when I need it?!
    Google Drone: *empties a baggy of cocaine onto the polished marble table and starts cutting lines* We need action now, sir.
    Sergey Brin: *inhales a long line and rubs his hands all over his face* Ok, ok, I got it. Get every able bodied person on 24/7 shifts for the next month working to make our service better.
    Google Drone: Bu ... but sir, what about the 20% of the time they get to work on their own projects ...
    Sergey Brin: SCREW that, we have an emergency. Get me everyone in the auditorium now, we ain't leavin' until the Google main search page is shitting rainbows and making the users feel like unicorns!

    What's really happening:

    Google Drone: *walks calmly into Brin's hermetically sealed chamber* Here's the reports for competitors, sir. It looks like Bing may have established itself as a competitor with Yahoo! but it's too early to tell.
    Sergey Brin: *steeples his fingers and lets out a long calm calculated sigh* Great, another trivial nuisance to keep an eye on -- well I didn't get this far by ignoring things. Ok.
    Google Drone: I'll put them on the big board, sir.
    Sergey Brin: Good but be sure not to put them on the buyout dart board, they're not an option.
    Google Drone: Yessir, anything else, sir?
    Sergey Brin: Yes, round up the boys in the rec room that seem to have so much free time lately and see if they can brainstorm up an optional beta prototype we could throw on our page to win back the morons ... *ahem* users that left us for Bing. You know some video widget or bell or whistle or some such crap. Those users'll be back anyway.
  • Whatever (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:28PM (#28330429) Homepage Journal

    Your competitor releases a product, you analyse it. That simple.

    When I worked at VMware we analysed every VirtualPC release both before and after Microsoft acquired it. There was a checklist of VMware "innovations" which we had metrics to measure how well VirtualPC didn't stack up against.

    If you don't do this, you don't know why your product is better than your competitor's, and so you don't know how to compete with them. Unless, of course, you're like Microsoft and think "compete" means "lie".

    • Re:Whatever (Score:5, Funny)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:44PM (#28330539) Journal

      Unless, of course, you're like Microsoft and think "compete" means "lie".

      Whatever, Microsoft knows what the consumer wants. It's not speed or accuracy or any of that stuff that Google uses to measure "quality." It's so much more simpler than that. Microsoft has searchability.

      What? You don't know what searchability is? Well, then you're like the guy in Microsoft's commercial where a user is using Bing and his friend comes up and asks him what "searchability" means and everyone laughs him out of the room. You don't want to look stupid, do you? Didn't think so.

      You don't need numbers and statistics that can be twisted, you just need to know that Bing has the best searchability. Jerry Seinfeld will eat a churro to that. Searchability. It's just more searchable.

      Sad thing is, that'd probably be an effective ad. And if you don't think so, look at Budweiser's latest campaign.

      Baa. Baaaaaa. Baa.

      • by alizard (107678) <alizard AT ecis DOT com> on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:59PM (#28330643) Homepage
        So how are you doing with your Zune? Happy with your Vista installation? Do you miss MS Office's Clippy? Are you old enough to remember Microsoft Bob?

        What M$ has going for it is consumer inertia, monopoly business practices, and a big installed base. Your belief in their genius at understanding consumer wants is faith-based. The list of M$ marketing and tech failures above is a long way from complete.

        That said, I use Bing occasionally when I don't find what I want in the first couple of pages of google hits. It isn't better, but sometimes, different is what's needed. As for their translation setup... the dual window thing might be useful for a professional language translator who's trying to clean up the translator's output, but if one doesn't speak the language, google's straightforward translation interface that simply throws the translation on a page works better.

        While google should watch them as they do any other competitor, they have no reason for concern. At least not this year.
  • hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pwolf (1016201) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:28PM (#28330431)
    I've only used Bing twice. Once when i heard about it on slashdot and then again after I saw a commercial... thought i'd give it another try. Other then a decent marketing campaign, Bing just doesn't have any new and exciting features that I like and that Google doesn't already have. Google does what I need so I'll continue using it.
    • Re:hmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by number6x (626555) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @09:05PM (#28330693)

      Bing gives us what Google already gave us 10 years ago. This is a major advance for Microsoft.

      They used to be the company that gave us what Apple gave us a decade ago, now they are the company that gives us what Google gave us a decade ago.

      It's good to see that Microsoft is not stagnating, but is still able to trail way behind its competitors always trying to be something it isn't.

      I miss the Microsoft of the 1980's, when they actually had products that weren't copies of everybody else's products.

      • Re:hmm (Score:4, Informative)

        by cryptoluddite (658517) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:58PM (#28331695)

        Bing gives us what Google already gave us 10 years ago. This is a major advance for Microsoft.

        I think that's a little bit disingenuous. Try searching "reddit.com" of google and bing.

        Google gives you a list of all results mentioning reddit.com, and a few common links into the site. That's it.

        Bing gives you just the entry for reddit.com (probably what you want), and the common links into the site. There's a sidebar with related searches, "reddit nsfw", "reddit game", "twitter", etc. There's a sidebar that says similar to this site is digg, drudge report, huffington post, perez hilton. Judging by experience that's a really accurate summary of reddit.com. You can click 'show all' to see other pages that match "reddit.com".

        Frankly I'm pretty impressed with bing, and I can see why google would be looking at it with a keen eye.

      • This is deliberate! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Fished (574624) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [yrogihpma]> on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:18AM (#28334203)

        What you're missing is that this is a deliberate strategy on Microsoft's part that served them well for many, many years. For a long time, Microsoft sought to have the second best product in any given category. Then they would just sit there and wait for the best product to get lazy or stagnant and come in and sweep up the remnants. They did this again and again and again in the late 80's and 90's, and it worked every single time, because eventually the competition would trip up leaving the market open for Microsoft.

        Examples?

        • Microsoft Word => WordPerfect (WordPerfect's failure to release a Window's version.)
        • Microsoft Excel => Lotus 123! (Again, Windows version)
        • Internet Explorer => Netscape (Netscape 4. Need I say more?)
        • Windows => Desqview/GEM/etc.
        • Windows => Macintosh (the "bad days" of the early 90's, when Macs cost fully 2-3 times as much as a PC and didn't really do THAT MUCH more than a PC.)
        • Windows NT => Netware (they failed to release a real, full-fledged OS, instead sitting on their file-sharing laurels.)
        • Windows NT => UNIX (the UNIX market fragmented instead of consolidating, and relied on sales of expensive hardware to make money instead of releasing a good, commodity UNIX that could have stomped NT early on.)

        The problem with this strategy is it only works when your competition slacks off. And nowadays Microsoft's competition--i.e. Google and Apple--aren't slacking off. At least Not Yet.

    • Re:hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by motek (179836) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @09:49PM (#28330941) Homepage

      I tried it after having read about their supperiority in porn searches. It was quite good, actualy, especially these video snippets searching yields. It very well may be Microsoft has found its niche in search market...

  • Uhuh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:30PM (#28330449)
    Google is Kleenex. You don't even really care that your wife bought Puffs. You'll still call them Kleenex and 9 out of 10 times you're going to pick them first by name. This simply isn't going to go the way of a meme. People aren't just going to jump ship in droves because it's different and not nearly as convenient. Start worrying when the numbers start talking. Getting excited about ANYTHING Microsoft does online is beyond premature. Hell, it might be IM-mature technologically speaking.
  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrMista_B (891430) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:31PM (#28330459)

    This is how market competition is supposed to work.

    Evil or not, a Google without competition inevitably stagnates.

  • by chebucto (992517) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:31PM (#28330463) Homepage

    Whether or not the story is true, competition - even from the likes of Microsoft - competition in the search market is a good thing to have. Google has been been without serious competition in the web search market for almost a decade, and there are definitely ways they can improve the quality of their results.

    Two things that most people will want avoided are 1) feature-bloat rather than basic s/n improvement as the method of competition, and 2) unfair use by microsoft of its (diminished) OS monopoly. Both these things were seen in the browser wars, and it took 5 years (more or less) for browser software to recover from that fiasco.

  • Bing doesn't work... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Manip (656104) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:39PM (#28330503)

    I know this might shock the US crowd, but the rest of the world exists too, and nobody told Microsoft while they were developing Bing's neat features. So what happens is, that all those interesting little local search and filter things are useless to everyone else and winds just winds up being Live Search with new branding.

    I like the concept of the filters but they only work for a very small selection of US centric pre-selected results. In fact if it isn't on MSN.com it doesn't seem to exist as far as Bing is concerned.

    So bing is meh, it was an interesting demo but just wasn't developed enough to be a real product. Google's unfiltered results are still much better than Live Search.

  • by juanergie (909157) <superjuanelo@gmail.com> on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:40PM (#28330511) Homepage Journal

    Any self-respecting organization will take a close look at a competitor product, specially when such competitor happens to be one of the world's largest player in the industry.

    Bing will certainly snatch a fraction of the market share owned by Google; modern top management theories demand that Google determines whether the market share lost to the rival will be a single user or a more considerable fraction.

    It is not about Sergei pissing his pants, but about him and his company designing a solid strategy to respond to their competitor's move.

  • by parlancex (1322105) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:41PM (#28330525)
    When I first heard about Bing I laughed at the thought of people actually dropping tried and trusted Google for some kind of Microsoft re-branded Windows Live Search, then I started paying closer attention to what I was actually getting when I searched on Google.

    Over the last several years I thought it was my imagination or increasing impatience that has caused my increased dissatisfaction with Google's search results but when I think about it more closely pagerank has been around for a long time and it hasn't altogether changed much. With pagerank basically being synonymous with Internet presence there has been a ton of research into gaming the algorithm and finding ways to artificially boost your website's relevance and this has basically resulted in the increasing decline of Google's search results over the last several years.

    Just as an actual example I was looking into buying a guitar amp online I had heard about and I wanted to find a website I had been to before on another computer that had a database clips demoing various amps and other guitar gear but I couldn't remember the name. After getting frustrated with several Google searches yielding nothing but trash for the obvious search queries, I turned to Bing because I thought it might be worth a laugh. First result was the website I wanted from the beginning, and that pains me a lot as someone who hates most of Microsoft's products as much as anyone else around here.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ouwiyaru (87338)

      What was the specific search that you typed into Bing and what was the website you were looking for?

      My experiences have been more the opposite way when testing Bing.

      I'm sure we're all very interested in where Bing's strengths are.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mgblst (80109)

      Really? So what was your search term, because i find this very hard to believe without that tiny bit of proof, that would have been so easy to include??

  • Bing promotion (Score:3, Informative)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:42PM (#28330531) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft drones doing a "Microsoft product is good" ad campaign, just that using that plain words they said "Even competition thinks that is good".

    Of course that if some competitor does a big fanfare move Google should be concerned, and see if what looks as pure vapor have some smoke in there, as if something is being cooked there. Is it just aesthetics? There were some prizes recently for photographical iGoogle themes. But if is something more complex than that, and if not covered by some of the weird Labs testing runnings, a better understanding on that is required.
  • by fullgandoo (1188759) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:47PM (#28330557)
    I have been using Bing for the last few weeks and comparing with Google by running the same queries on both.

    At it's launch, there was considerable difference in the results of the two (Google giving far more relevant results). But Bing has been rapidly improving and now I get pretty much identical results from both.

    Bing is a huge improvement over Yahoo at least for general queries.

    It's a pity that Safari (at least on Mac) doesn't allow any other search engine except Google. That is just plain mean.
  • by hwyhobo (1420503) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:53PM (#28330603)
    What do you mean "If Yahoo exited the field"? Do you actually know anyone who uses Yahoo for search? What was the last time you've heard "yahoo it"? How about "google it"? Yahoo still makes the best portal (my.yahoo.com - although they are getting annoying with their cutesy changes), but search? Anyone remember Altavista? Yahoo, meet Altavista.
  • by basementman (1475159) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @08:57PM (#28330631) Homepage

    Go to bing.com and click on video search. Then type in "naked women" and hit enter. Hover your mouse over each thumbnail. Now you should understand why google is scared shitless of bing, they are already destroying them where it counts, as a porn search engine.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by blind biker (1066130)

      No video search on Bing, if you are in Finland (maybe in other countries, too).

      Also, the search results are tailored for the Finnish. And they are brain-dead, compared to the Google search results.

      At least Google works equally well in every country.

  • by 2Bits (167227) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @09:06PM (#28330697)

    I know that Microsoft is to be evil, and Google is to be the good guy, and /.ers mostly side with Google, yada yada yada...

    All that asides, I'd like to say that, from my personal experiences, Bing is pretty good. I've been using it on and off since its launch, before its ad campaign. Note that I still use Google on an everyday basis, but Bing has been doing better and better.

    I spent a bored Saturday afternoon, comparing the two, with different methods that I use everyday for searching:

    • keywords or phrases
    • keywords, with + sign, AND, OR etc
    • Chinese keywords + English keywords
    • Natural questions (e.g. Where do I find xxx?), in English and Chinese
    • Proper names, product names, location names, etc
    • Some others non-pattern searches

    In over half of what I put in, Bing came up with results that made more sense to me, and which are closer to what I'm searching for. I found that Google is more and more rigged with "hidden" ads, which is quite annoying at times. Maybe it's just that Google is better known, and all the so-called SEO experts work on it more, but it's still annoying.

    That's just personal experience, and it's by no means scientific. YMMV. I, for one, welcome good search engine, even from the evil empire.

  • by dmomo (256005) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @09:07PM (#28330713) Homepage

    >> speculation on what the world of search would look like if Yahoo exited the field.

    Similar to how the world of racing would look if stuffed turtles left it.

  • by PingXao (153057) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @09:18PM (#28330771)

    Rupert Murdoch's NY rag (the WSJ being the other)? Then it's scurrilous and almost certainly not true. Google isn't worried about Bing. The whole thing smells of astroturf and paid shills operating under cover of darkness.

  • by Eskarel (565631) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @09:40PM (#28330897)
    but that doesn't mean it can't, particularly if google are stupid.

    I can think of a number of top tier companies, 3dfx for example, who were the absolute unquestioned masters of their market but who got wiped out because they didn't take their competition seriously and let their product stagnate.

    Google almost certainly isn't running around in a panic over Bing, to wipe them out now would take a product which is measurably better in some important way(speed, ease of use, quality of results, etc) for anyone to even come close to toppling them. At the same time they'd be idiots to ignore new competition, inspiring the dominant market players to expend resources improving their products is one of the most common benefits of increased competition.

    Google are just being sensible. Bing may be nothing in fact it almost certainly will be, but it may be something. Even if it only grabs 1% market share, if it grabs that share from google they lose money.

    Only stupid companies blindly assume that their competition will fail and their dominance cannot be challenged, and Google are anything but a stupid company.

  • Torn.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Junta (36770) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @10:43PM (#28331201)

    On the one hand, the lack of a technologically compelling competitor to Google concerns me. As a consequence, google susceptibility to SEO gaming is significant, but Google doesn't have a sound business justification to change what is working unless a competitor outdoes them. Unfortunately, in business the only 'justifiable' time to fund improvements is when there is *something* to gain and Google simply has nothing to gain in this context without competition.

    On the other hand, I don't think Microsoft should be the one to come in. They are another goliath that retains some good technical people, but strategically knows little more than brute force nowadays to get into markets. They bought their way into second place in game consoles, they are trying to buy their way into some niche markets where Linux currently leads (both in the server room and embedded spaces). They tend to offer generally 'mostly sufficient' technology that doesn't really stack up to their competition or blow them away on a technical level, but earns what ground it can by sheer force of money earned through the markets they did corner at the right time with the right technology (invented or purchased). Through dumping (and even further, sometimes essentially bribing customers to use their products) they pursue an obsessive need to take over new markets.

    In other words, I want to see Google challenged by a competitor on the strength of the technology they offer, not on the strength of a massive marketing budget and the ability to blatantly lose money for future market share. I have tons of respect for Google for actually innovating and revolutionizing search while every major player languished. I want another google, not microsoft, to get Google back on its toes.

  • by melted (227442) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:06PM (#28331367) Homepage

    Compare them yourself, without branding: http://blindsearch.fejus.com/ [fejus.com]

    This site basically outputs search results in three columns, with all formatting uniform, all branding removed and columns permuted on every search. You vote for the best results. I found myself unknowingly "voting" for Bing a surprising number of times.

    • by Animats (122034) on Monday June 15, 2009 @01:15AM (#28332063) Homepage

      When you try the blind search test, the results look very similar. All the mainstream search engines are doing about equally well. There was a period in 2007 when Yahoo was substantially ahead of the others, because they had about fifty special-case recognizers for things like celebrities and movies, but now everybody has that. (And nobody noticed that Yahoo was better for the six months they had a technical edge, anyway.)

      Try heavily-spammed searches like "London hotels". All the big guys are still being fooled by ad-heavy redirector sites. It's possible to do better against link spammers [sitetruth.com], but the big guys aren't trying very hard to do so. Google used to be against "search engine optimization", but some time in 2007 they went over to the dark side and started sponsoring SEO conferences. [searchengi...tegies.com] It's inevitable; Google makes their money from AdWords. Search is just a traffic builder.

  • by melted (227442) on Sunday June 14, 2009 @11:17PM (#28331431) Homepage

    The article is most likely BS, written by someone who doesn't know how the Search industry works. Let me lay out some facts for you so that you see why I think it's BS:

    1. Most, if not all algorithms that Live Search / Bing uses are PUBLICLY DISCLOSED in papers published by Microsoft Research, and the corresponding patents that Microsoft holds. You don't need to "identify" anything. And even if you did, the new features introduced by Bing are so superficial that "identifying" similar algorithms would not take Google's engineers and researchers much time.

    2. All major search engines monitor each other constantly and they know exactly what the competition's NDCG metrics (normalized cumulative distributed gain - the measure of how relevant the results are) are. As a rule, it's undesirable to crank up the NDCG too much, since doing so reduces the click through rate on ads, so historically, Google has kept their NDCG just a wee bit ahead of Yahoo and Live, and every time the two would update their algorithms, Google would crank it up a notch to stay ahead. To think that they've been sitting on their ass in the past couple of years is stupid.

    So at most, I think Google is working on some experimental stuff related to presentation of results, which is where it's currently lacking, in spite of their half assed, hidden-by-default sidebar.

  • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel,hedblom&gmail,com> on Monday June 15, 2009 @02:20AM (#28332367) Homepage Journal

    This must be the most transparent desperate try at getting good PR i have seen in a long time. Its pretty obvious Microsoft wants to distribute a picture of Google "putting their best" at finding out what new wonderful things has come from the name change Microsoft did. Everyone knows its just a rebranded Live Search with hand tweaked results.

    Bing is just as bad as Live Search unless you stumble upon a very limited set of handmade search results. Bottomline, its still Live Search and the algorithm still sucks. No amount of PR will change that.

    The only thing i think Google is afraid of is Microsoft using its monopoly to crush any competition. Like, using an upgrade to change peoples search presets or pushing people towards bing no matter where they really want to go...

  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:22AM (#28332623) Journal

    ...the evidence: http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/1696/bing2.jpg [imageshack.us]

  • by sjwt (161428) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:57AM (#28332781)

    how about insted of "Technology: Does Bing Have Google Running Scared?" we try a more realistic "Technology: Google, still on top and willing to try and improve after Bing's release."

  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Monday June 15, 2009 @07:10AM (#28333493)
    I like their image search, the vid thing is cool, and the travel wizard is quick and easy even if just for guestimate trips. I see it as another resource but not a Google search, email, or online doc replacement.
  • I heard a rumor :o (Score:3, Insightful)

    by viralMeme (1461143) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:36AM (#28333941)
    I heard a rumor that MS was seeding the blogosphere with negative publicity regarding Google and talking up it's own late-to-the-party Bing. That's just a rumor mind, so I don't have to produce any actual evidence .. :)
  • by Lord Grey (463613) * on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:44AM (#28333981)
    Microsoft purchased FAST Search and Transfer last year (here [microsoft.com] is a 'welcome page' for existing FAST customers). I had assumed that Bing is a specific implementation of the FAST technology, but I could very well be wrong. But if I'm right, then Sergey Brin doesn't have a whole lot of homework to do.

Do not simplify the design of a program if a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful.

Working...