Sometimes fear is good, especially when it’s on the other guy

I really try not to be a Microsoft wonk. I try! Regular readers can attest to the fact that I am pretty product-agnostic up in here. This blog is certainly not a vehicle to market Microsoft's products.  And I never consult PR. But. I have to admit that I'm really loving what is going on with Bing. Love it!

The cherry on the launch cake is this. We have a lot of market space to catch up. I know that. But watching the Bing development team pull it together with a "pow!" is gratifying. And the marketing team too. <golf clap> Really.

The idea of Sergey gripped with fear makes me chuckle a little tiny bit. Bad for my karma? Maybe. Ungoogly? For sure. But I never aspired to googliness (a word? really?). What can I say? I have my fair share of competitiveness; or as I will now refer to it "Microsoftiness".

Comments (16)

  1. James says:

    Heather do you think it can get to the top of the search engines used by people? Personally I think it will be in the top 5 but not get above Yahoo or Google. I just dont see what it can offer that these don’t already offer. Plus Google offers so much more than just a search engine.

    Have you used Docs? I don’t currently use these as I use Open Office but Docs are supposed to be OK for small business.

    Google Mail. No good for a business email address but nice for signing up to online site where you may get loads of Spam. Saves your main email from getting it and you can forward your Google Mail to any other email address.

    Webmaster Tools. Great as I own a few sites and like to keep track of them.

    All the different Google search functions like Define:

    News search, maps search

    Now if Microsoft had managed to buy Yahoo that would be a different story. I think then and only then would it have been able to take on Google. I’m waiting to see if Google bring out a games consul just to rube salt in the wounds!


  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    James – but I don’t want all that stuff. I want a search engine that gives me what I am looking for. I’m not talking about ranking the companies, just the search engines. If it’s just based on features and relevance, then yes, I do think we will move up. I haven’t seen Yahoo! do anything interesting in a long time and I think of them as more of a content driven company than a search engine company.

    Don’t get me wrong; I know we have ground to make up. But based on what I have seen, I do expect Bing to pass up Yahoo! at least. I’m not an analyst so I definitely can’t predict the future. But just the fact that Sergey is concerned points to the fact that we are a competitor for the top of the heap. I’m more of a "prove it to me" person than a brand loyalist, especially given that I tend to dig deep into results and use multiple search engines as long as the algorithms differ. But I’m just saying it: I love Bing. And I love that Bing is ours.

    Anyway, that is how I see it.

  3. RB says:

    The NY Post? That’s fish wrap.

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    RB – you can do a search for other citings. But make sure you don’t believe the news, just Google’s PR response. Do no evil.

  5. Steve says:

    I have to admit I was chuckling the entire time I read the article.  Granted it was in the NY Post and Fox News. But hey, there is very likely at least one grain of truth there.

    Besides given all google’s bravado over the last several years, I find the concept of Sergey "gripped with fear" delicious, even if in reality he’s only anxious.

    BTW, I’ve tried Bing. The results are pretty darn good, and Bing is certainly more graphically interesting and pleasant to look at than Google, Yahoo or many of the others.

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, sensationalist headlines for sure. I want to get a t-shirt that says "Fear me". Would that be wrong?

    Thanks for taking a look at Bing. My eyes like it was well! My results have been more relevant that Google (what I want is usually in the first 1 or 2 results), but not all of use are concise search string writers. I am sure tht has an impact on results for folks.

  7. Rebecca M says:

    Bing ?

     I tried it for the first time through the MSN home page today which has a link powered by BING to show "Tips to keep mosquitos away"

    There were no tips–

    this is a good search engine?

    The link is still there, try it.

  8. HeatherLeigh says:

    Bing is a search engine and MSN is a portal. I don’t see anything about mosquitos on MSN, but I did a Bing search on "mosquito prevention" and I got this:

    And it’s right on. So your issue sounds like it’s with MSN, not Bing.

  9. Darryl says:

    I live in Texas and need all the "Tips to keep mosquitos away" in order to make it through the summer.

  10. Bad_Brad says:

    I just did exactly what Rebecca M stated (went to MSN home page, and did a search on "tips to keep mosquitos away") and frankly, every single one of the top 10 results was relevant.

    I’m with Heather.  I like Bing (of course, I’m probably biased because I work in a Microsoft group that supports Bing).  And trust me, I am typically very critical of our products.

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    Darryl – the best tip is to move to another state, but I am supposing that this isn’t your first choice.

    Bad_Brad – the critical thing: me too! I have to remind myself that I have to approach my criticism from a customer perspective because I don’t code. But I know what I like and don’t like and I know what I will use. My crush on Bing is unabated.

  12. Vyacheslav Lanovets says:

    I’ve made two simple tests which proved to me that Bing is not a good search engine (currently).

    One such test is about "localization" and I also provided this example here:

    The test is simple: just search for some popular term from different country and compare results. I live in Russia and by default Live Search (Bing) shows me results for Russia. For a ‘C#’ term it displays abolutely irrelevant information.

    You can check for yourself by visting this link: As of today, first 9 results are not about C# at all. Other two major Russian search engines ( and produced excellent results.

    It seems like Bing uses separate rank databases for tuning search results in each market. Bing has a very small market share consisting of mostly technically incompetent people who clicks whatevere links they are first provided. I beleive, to fight this there should be some "intermarket" influence, especially if search term is entered in English letters.

    I conclude that Bing’s ranking alorithms is of poor quality.

    Another test is to try to find some pages you know exist for sure. In this test I found a page on which can be found in Google by providing by surname and nick of a freelancer . The page exists for more than a year. Bing fails to find it (0 results!). It seems like page is not indexed at all. While Google indexes only a small part of all pages in the Web, Bing’s index is even smaller.

    Finally about functionality: Bing cannot search through Usenet archives like comp.lang.c++.moderated and there is no Bing RSS Reader (like Google Reader).

    Quick preview feature is cool though.

  13. Rebecca M says:

    I think the MSN hompage just had a lousy link.

    I didn’t do a search–there was a Header on the thursday MSN Homepage:  "How to keep the mosquitoes away"  I clicked on the headline and got "Bing"

    results which all had to do with what you do AFTER you have been bitten by those critters!

    I didn’t see the link on Friday–and since I didn’t get the: How to keep them away tips, I am now using the how to stop the itch tips that were there in the first place.

  14. EJR says:

    while Bing offers exciting marketing/advertising for it’s product launch, I don’t think I will be ditching Google anytime soon.  I love Google for clean look of the site and the precise search results.  

  15. HeatherLeigh says:

    Vyacheslav, I don’t really have a way of confirming those search results. What Boolean operators/modifiers did you use in your search?

    Rebecca – LOL. Well either way, I hope those pesky mosquitos have finished attacking you! According to news reports (today, actually, on CNET) it looks like MSN is getting a revamp this fall. So it will be interesting to see what happens there too.

    EJR – that’s OK. One person’s "clean" is another person’s "void". I’ve spent too much time scrolling through results on Google. I just want to find what I am looking for and be done with it.  To each his/her own.

  16. Keith Patrick says:

    By and large, I much prefer Bing to Google, but its relevency with regards to .Net development, it’s not very good IMO.  I would have hoped that searching for some common .Net terms/errors would lead first to MS documentation, second to MSDN forums, and third to blogs, but in practice, the MS hits typically come 2nd or 3rd (or worse) with largely irrelevant metagarbage pages coming in first.

    Slightly better than Live’s search, but worse than Google.

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