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Microsoft Urging Safari Users To Use Bing 266

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-tried-the-rest-now-try-the-best dept.
New submitter SquarePixel writes "Microsoft is urging Safari users to switch to Bing after Google was fined $22.5 million for violating Safari privacy settings. 'Microsoft is keen to make sure that no-one forgets this, let alone Safari users, and the page summarizes the events that took place.' It tells users how Google promised not to track Safari users, but tracked them without their permission and used this data to serve them advertisement. Lastly, it tells how Google was fined $22.5 million for this and suggests users to try the more privacy oriented Bing search engine."
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Microsoft Urging Safari Users To Use Bing

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  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:05PM (#41406977) Journal

    Yeah, they haven't gotten caught yet

    • by Maho Shoujo (2729697) <mahoshoujo@hellokitty.com> on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:12PM (#41407031)

      Perhaps the same could be said of everyone.

    • by socceroos (1374367) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:13PM (#41407041)
      It should be bleedingly obvious to all that noone other than yourself is going to protect your privacy.
    • by msauve (701917) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:22PM (#41407113)
      They're completely altruistic. Bing doesn't want more users because it results in more profit. What do you think Microsoft is, a for-profit corporation?
    • Yeah, they haven't gotten caught yet

      Heh. Well, technically speaking, doesn't that mean that they really can claim it then?

      (I apologize in advance if that's a whosh.)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2012 @12:43AM (#41407743)

      But MS *DID* get caught. Remember the IE Toolbar, it watched users Google searches, and sent the results and the queries back to Microsoft, where Microsoft use it to improve (i.e. copy) for their own search results?

      http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/google-to-microsoft-search-gotcha/

      Google added some fake searches, entered those into IE and it promptly sent that data back to Microsoft HQ where they put it in the Bing results.

      Not only that, they denied it, then it turned out they'd denied only the 'copying part', then they claimed it was anonymous data and thus not snooping (it isn't they get the toolbar id, and search data often has addresses, medical conditions and names in it).

      So yeh, they got caught. The only bizarre thing is why they weren't prosecuted. I think we're all kind of wary of Microsoft now, if you're using Microsoft products, more fool you.

      DuckDuckGo is what I use now.

      • Wow, you really are an idiot. The toolbar installer explained that it could send your searches to Microsoft in order to improve results. It was obviously (except, oddly, to Google's completely brilliant and utterly unbiased engineers) a feature you enabled if you wanted to guide Bing towards better (from your perspective) search results. Google engineers deliberately enabled this behavior, then poisoned the results with nonsense searches that *had* no legit results, so the only info Bing had on those queries were the poisoned values. They then claimed that the fact that Microsoft was using the poisoned values that Google had deliberatesly sent them meant that Microsoft was "copying" Google.

        A number of... individuals... such as yourself not only believed Google's absurd bullshit, they kept on repeating it long after Google themselves retreated when they realized their attempt to smear a competitor was having a counterproductive effect.

        Also, DuckDuckGo uses Bing (and not in a "Bing copies Google results!!1!" sense, but as in some of its searches are actually directly executed through Bing), among other search engines. So, guess what, you're using Microsoft products. Who's the fool, again?

      • by rgbrenner (317308) on Friday September 21, 2012 @03:29AM (#41408373)

        what is the difference between what Bing did and what google does?

        http://www.benedelman.org/news/012610-1.html [benedelman.org]

        Run the Google Toolbar, and it’s strikingly easy to activate “Enhanced Features” -- transmitting to Google the full URL of every page-view, including searches at competing search engines.

        http://www.pcworld.com/article/187670/Google_Toolbar_Tracks_You_Even_After_Being_Disabled.html [pcworld.com]

        Let me rephrase what happened in reality: A google employee noticed that the bing toolbar reports search terms back to bing -- just like the google toolbar does.. and Google decided score some easy points, and make Bing look like a copycat.

        • Interesting spin (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Microsoft is sending searches done on GOOGLE to Microsoft, and results chosen from the GOOGLE search to Microsoft.

          Google sends the searches on Google toolbar to Google. You know the bar that's for searching GOOGLE!

          If I talk to you, I'm not spying on the conversation, I'm PART OF THE CONVERSATION. What Microsoft did was to spy on its users GOOGLE searches, which were none of their business.

          So the medical queries you searched Google for were spied on by Microsoft, the addressed you searched for on Google were

        • what is the difference between what Bing did and what google does?

          The difference is that Microsoft has spying technology built right into the browser, it's called compatibility view updates, and their search suggestion system. With Google you have to choose to be tracked.

      • by Rockoon (1252108) on Friday September 21, 2012 @04:39AM (#41408631)
        If you just went to google.com and typed in a search, the IE toolbar wouldnt report things back to bing. It is only if you used the search box of the toolbar that this was happening.

        The difference between the IE toolbar and the Google toolbar is that the google toolbar cannot be configured to use any search engine other than google.

        Now, next time be totally honest about what was happening. I dont think its too hard to do that. Microsoft still looks bad when being honest.. no need to exaggerate.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          We know they spied on the resulting URLs because they included the URL the user chose as the search result in Bing. You can pretend they didn't spy on the search queries of Google directly, well perhaps they could use the following URL to improve their search results:

          http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=microsoft%27s+moral+compass

          You can see that they certainly DID spy on searches made on Google and other search engines. Not just in the toolbar.

          I read another Microsoft fluffer's comment below claiming they ha

    • Moreover, the silliness of the proposal becomes obvious if reworded as "Switch to Bing if you want to prevent Google tracking you as it does when you visit any sites funded via Google advertising, or when you visit YouTube, GMail, Google Maps, Google Plus, Google News, Google..."

      (And yeah, I'm aware Bing has its own mapping product. But to the best of my knowledge, only corporate websites that need embedded maps use it for much the same reason that iPhone users are getting very upset about the removal of

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Dude you know what? This is like arguing over who has the best salt. Its the same old same I don't give a crap which one you pick.

      Now Yahoo I thought had the best UI so of course they went and fucked that up, but now? Pretty much same old same. In fact I'd say if you are looking for pictures Bing seems to be the best for that particular niche as its image search UI is really easy to use and lets you customize the hell out of the search without having to use modifers in the search itself, just the UI.

      But as

  • DuckDuckGo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fredgiblet (1063752) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:08PM (#41406993)
    DuckDuckGo's entire advertising strategy is based off of privacy.
    • Re:DuckDuckGo (Score:4, Informative)

      by Cinder6 (894572) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:29PM (#41407173)

      I started using DuckDuckGo exclusively just a couple days ago. So far I'm liking it a lot--search results seem just as good as Google's, if not better in some cases. With that said, I actually miss Google's Instant search in Chrome. On the other hand, the bang keywords are nice on those rare occasions I'm not using Chrome (for the uninitiated, adding "!amazon", for example, opens the Amazon.com search result page for your query).

      • Re:DuckDuckGo (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lister king of smeg (2481612) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:50PM (#41407281)

        Interesting i would have thought that with the ! symbol meaning "NOT" the rest of th universe that it would display shopping results for every but amazon.

        • by Cinder6 (894572)

          Yeah, it's kind of an odd choice, especially because I'm sure the average person who uses DDG is of a more tech-oriented nature. Maybe #amazon would be better?

        • ! Doesn't mean NOT in CSS :) !important for example....

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            ! Doesn't mean NOT in CSS :) !important for example....

            Using CSS as an example of right practice is like using Microsoft as an example of right behavior.

        • Interesting i would have thought that with the ! symbol meaning "NOT" the rest of th universe that it would display shopping results for every but amazon.

          Just like a UNIX shell script should run using any interpreter but the one on the first line?

          Granted, that starts with #! [wikipedia.org] not !, but that's because # introduces a comment in shell script and the first line needs to be commented out so the interpreter doesn't try to run it.

      • I started using DuckDuckGo exclusively just a couple days ago. So far I'm liking it a lot--search results seem just as good as Google's, if not better in some cases.

        I wish I could say the same. I do everything to minimize google's tracking of me - no cookies, no other google services, no javascript, etc. So as best I can tell, I get google's searches without the filter bubble. [wikipedia.org] But I still found google to be significantly more effective than DDG. I consider myself to have some damn fine google-fu, so maybe I just don't "get" DDG but whatever the reason I found myself using the !g operator so often that I decided to save a step and just start my searches at google to

    • Re:DuckDuckGo (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:29PM (#41407181) Homepage Journal
      Thank you for the suggestion. Bing's app doesn't appear to work on Android tablets (which appears intentional), but DuckDuckGo's app works fine on my Nexus 7.
      • Bing's app doesn't appear to work on Android tablets (which appears intentional)

        What's wrong with this picture?

        • At first, Bing's app was exclusive to Verizon. It has since been opened to more phones but not apparently to Android tablets.
      • Re:DuckDuckGo (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:47PM (#41407491) Journal

        Why would you need an app to use a web search engine?

        (I mean, I know they exist and people use them... but why??)

        • by ppanon (16583)
          Well, if it's a widget that you use on your Android home page, it doesn't take up too much real estate and compresses multiple steps into one: open browser, open google bookmark or type URL, possibly scroll page to be able to select search entry field, enter search criteria. The Instant search results show up formatted for your phone better than using the Google home page. About the only drawback is that you don't get to see the funny custom google logos.
          • You don't have to open Google front page, just open the browser and type the search string into the address bar - worked since forever on Android, and on iOS since v5. Granted, that's still one extra step compared to using a widget, but only assuming that you start at your home screen. I'm far more likely to face the app that I was using last when unlocking my phone.

            As a side note, on stock Android 4.x, you're pretty much stuck with a non-configurable & non-removable widget for Google, on the top of the

    • Re:DuckDuckGo (Score:4, Informative)

      by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:01PM (#41407325)
      I gave DDG a fair shake for a few months but ended up with a lot of spammy results a lot of times and didnt find what I wanted all the time. I do like their ! searches tho and I keep them in my browser search list specifically for !whois and a few other ! searches. I hate it as much as the next nerd, but google is king of search and gets me where I need to go. I do know and remember always that the almighty google is also all-tracking.
      • I used DDG too and found a lot of results just weren't as good as Google. I've since started using StartPage [startpage.com] They use Google results, and offer browsing through the IxQuick proxy to continue anonymous browsing (sister site, apparently).
      • I gave DDG a fair shake for a few months but ended up with a lot of spammy results a lot of times and didnt find what I wanted all the time.

        Yup. Even DDG seems to know this, as they provide links to other search engines with their results. DDG is now even advertising on a rather shocking website, but the point is probably Moot.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by poetmatt (793785)

      why yes, a bing based search aka duck duck go is based on privacy?

      do tell! /facepalm

    • by Anonymous Coward

      DuckDuckGo's entire advertising strategy is based off of privacy.

      DuckDuckGo's entire advertising strategy is based on privacy. 'based off of' is nonsense.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      DuckDuckGo's entire advertising strategy is based off of privacy.

      It's clearly not based on making a search engine that finds what you're looking for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:09PM (#41407005)

    Google breaching user privacy and Microsoft advocating privacy

  • Privacy? Bing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lokedhs (672255) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:09PM (#41407011)
    Bing, that integrates with Facebook, who are the champions of privacy, of course.
    • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday September 21, 2012 @12:12AM (#41407607) Journal

      When China told Google to censor or get out, they got out - evacuating to Taiwan.

      Eric Schmidt, the Chairman and CEO at the time was for pursuing the business opportunity through minimizing the damage. Larry Page was ambivalent. That day Sergey Brin became Google's moral compass and said something like: "Not just no, but Fuck no. My dad was a Russian dissident and came to America to avoid being sent to a Gulag for speaking his mind. If you do this not only will I take my share and leave, but I'll use it to do my best to defeat the monster you've become."

      There was a big fight and Eric Schmidt gave up the CEO spot and his role as the world's best-paid babysitter. Larry Page took it (Sergey didn't want it). And Google moved out of China, abandoning the world's biggest growth market until it's ready to accept at least the human right of free speech. But the question about where Google stood on free speech was forever closed. That issue at least is resolved.

      Bing and Yahoo crowed their triumph that day, that they had bested their adversary on at least one field - and an important one. For all of me this was one battle they needed to lose.

      Recently there was press about some unnamed person from the White House asking YouTube to check a controversial video to see if it violated their terms of service. The reply: "No, it doesn't - thanks for asking." The implied unofficial implication was that it would be convenient if the video violated the terms. Certainly this didn't come from the President directly as he taught Constitutional Law, so it was a minor official inquiry that by some other company would have been taken as an opportunity to seek some advantage. But Google would have none of that. They don't do that. If pressed (they weren't pressed) the answer would certainly have been "not just no, but Fuck No! We don't do that." America doesn't have anything like the ability to enforce cooperation that China does, and if it happened to gain that power Google would just leave the US too now because organizationally the "free speech" question is completely and forever settled.

      For all that some would paint Google as evil, maybe Google is in some aspect preserving our moral compass for when we regain our sanity and come to understand again what's really important. Until then I admire their determination to retain their moral compass and do the right thing.

  • by Revotron (1115029) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:14PM (#41407047)
    So either way, you're still getting your results from Google.
  • by Tough Love (215404) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:24PM (#41407127)

    After all, Microsoft is the one technology company that has demonstrated a consistently superior level of trustworthiness and sound ethics. Right? [zdnet.com]

  • by rgbrenner (317308) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:25PM (#41407135)

    Wow.. this is definitely news. A competitor of MS made a mistake, and they're attempting to gain an advantage from it.

    It's like... they're competing or something.

    More stories like this /.

    This is groundbreaking stuff

  • Is it November already?

    Lesser of two evils, indeed.

  • Say what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by UnifiedTechs (100743) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:30PM (#41407187) Homepage
    Isn't this like Ford telling Toyota owners to buy a new Ford because a Chevron tanker ran aground?
  • by lennier1 (264730) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:04PM (#41407337)

    Google was acting like Microsoft and as a result MS expects people to use a Microsoft product instead?

  • I'm hoping they will not modify current notifications in a bad way. current ones are useful for regular desktop use. I'm sure they're not as useful for FB, twitter announces and that sort of crap and it seems to be what they want to fix.

    The stuff nerds like me don't give a rat's ass about.

  • by tpstigers (1075021) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:40PM (#41407477)
    Safari Users. We could be talking as many as 2 dozen people here.
  • by aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) on Friday September 21, 2012 @12:34AM (#41407699)

    If you're not looking for something only two people and their dogs care about, Wikipedia can provide enough information to get you up to speed. Even with the deletionists, trolls, and shills, I find Wikipedia to be more relevant, if not more accurate, than running a typical Google search which would point to a Wikipedia article anyway.

    The reference/links section at the end of an article is often more valuable than the article itself, which is how I use Wikipedia as a "search" engine. Like any large web site, Wikipedia has a site search feature, which, as far as I can tell, has not been outsourced to the two or three search giants. The major browsers can also be configured to use Wikipedia as a search engine.

    Of course what we really need is a true crowd-sourced search engine that isn't controlled by a single humongous corporation. But there's already more information in Wikipedia than when Google started indexing the web in the late 1990s. This trove of information can serve as the seed.

  • yay great my search engine has a animated background, and shows me at least one page of kittens for an image search, just what I wanted when I pay out the ass per byte

  • by jamesh (87723) on Friday September 21, 2012 @01:38AM (#41407977)

    In my first scan of the headline I thought it said "Microsoft Urging Safari Users To Use Bling"... which makes just about as much sense.

  • Google vs Microsoft. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kaenneth (82978) on Friday September 21, 2012 @01:45AM (#41408011) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft sells Software, Google sells You.

  • Bing Challenge (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anubis IV (1279820) on Friday September 21, 2012 @01:46AM (#41408019)

    I tried that blind comparison test [bingiton.com] that Microsoft set up between Google and Bing, just because I am a nerd who can appreciate that he may be prejudiced and wanted to actually do a test for himself. I still ended up choosing what I later discovered were Google's results as my preferred ones for 3 out of the 5 test searches. Scoring 2-for-5 was not enough to get me to switch to Bing, of course, but it was enough to get me to appreciate the service more.

    The Safari issue sucks, of course, and I am a Safari user on my Mac at home (though I hate it on Windows), but it won't be a deciding factor for me.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Friday September 21, 2012 @03:59AM (#41408459)

    First, nowhere on that page does Microsoft pledge not to track you. Second, Microsoft has a vested interest in shooting everyone who honors DNT in the head so that they can't get any more revenue by being better at analytics than Microsoft. Third, Microsoft sites fail to honor DNT, even if you are dumb and use IE9. Fourth, the DNT standard was written such that DNT was opt-in, not opt-out, and Microsoft is failing to implement the standard with IE9.

    So the business model is:

    (1) Ruin every honest web sites analytics by DNT-by-default in IE9
    (2) Ignore the DNT sent by IE9 and other browsers when doing their own analytics
    (3) Become the sole source of qualified targeted advertising as a result
    (4) Profit!

    There isn't even a "???" step in there.

    • First, nowhere on that page does Microsoft pledge not to track you.

      They don't have to. Safari has privacy settings, Google was fined $22.5 million for using hacks that managed to get around those privacy settings, so the presumption is that Microsoft isn't going to do anything that will get them a similar fine. The presumption was the same for Google, but Google proved us wrong.

  • by Tom (822) on Friday September 21, 2012 @04:48AM (#41408661) Homepage Journal

    Sorry, MS, but Google will have to engage in at least a decade of evilness before they are even in the same league as you.

  • ... uses Safari anyway?
  • Microsoft is urging... users to switch to Bing

    In other news, water is wet!

  • A large company sees what they perceive as a potential weakness or leverage point in a competitor's product and throws some marketing dollars around to try and take advantage of it.

    Will the horrors never cease...

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