Bill Gates on Bing

A few days ago, Bill Gates held one of the best AMAs (Ask Me Anything) that I’ve ever read.  He made jokes, offered what seemed like honest, in-depth answers, and even wowed his audience by actually responding to follow up questions and comments, a relative rarity for most big name AMAs.

Bill Gates
Technology legend, international philanthropist, and aspiring cartoonist William Gates.

For all his gusto, some of his answers did seem like they were tinged with a little Microsoft bias.  His favorite computer? The Microsoft Surface Pro, of course.  One of his favorite new gadgets? That would be a sleek new digital whiteboard that runs Windows 8.  He even (though briefly and quite unconvincingly) argued that Windows 8 is better than Windows 7, claiming simply that “higher is better.”

But perhaps no better example of this Windows prejudice occurred when he stated that Bing is “seriously” a superior product to Google’s search.  While it’s tough to make such a subjective judgment, user rates would suggest otherwise.  Google still maintains a dominant hold over the search landscape, and although Bing is gradually gaining market share, it’s already been surpassed by Russian competitor Yandex.

I occasionally switch over to Bing to see what’s going on over there, and the results aren’t bad.  The front page is visually striking, and they’ve done a lot to make the results page look cleaner.  They’re even trying to make social a more integral part of search with the Facebook sidebar, though with limited results.

Maybe the reason people aren’t searching on Bing is because they get too distracted by the homepage. Why would you want to leave this image?

However, if I (along with the rest of the population) am going to switch to Bing, I’m going to need a really compelling reason to leave my nice Googly comfort zone.  It’s become habit at this point, and only a dramatically different Bing would probably be enough to get me to jump ship.

Either way, check out Bing It On to see which one you prefer.  According to Microsoft, 33% of Google users plan to try Bing more in the future after doing this little challenge.  I had trouble telling the difference between the two… but I’m not sure that’s a good thing for Bing.

James on Google+