ADOTAS — It’s been a long time since I have wanted a product to succeed as much as Microsoft’s Search Decision Engine Bing (excluding my clients’ products and Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent, but that’s an issue for another bylined article).
For the record, I don’t work for or with Microsoft. In fact, though I use Microsoft Office, that’s only because my clients use Microsoft Word, and I was concerned with compatibility issues if I used Open Office.
So why am I pushing Bing?
1. Competition is good – I’m simply a big believer in competition, something that’s been absent from Search for too long. Everyone wins from competition – even Google, who will have a better search engine if forced by competition to improve. And users will definitely benefit from a better search engine.
2. It’s fun to root for the underdog – I know it’s funny to call a company that has a near monopoly in desktop applications an ‘underdog’, but in search, they are. Considering how hard they’ve tried at search, I can’t help but root for them. And there would be something exciting about Microsoft pulling a Nintendo Wii-like comeback to challenge Google for dominance in search.
3. Monopolies are bad (or near monopolies, even if they were legally created) – As I wrote above, the only reason I don’t use Open Office is due to issues of compatibility with my clients when we jointly edit press releases. Monopolies stifle progress, and as a result, we are stuck with the status quo instead of upgrading to something better. If there was only one airline, do you really think we’d get in-seat monitors on long haul flights? Think of the options offered by cell phone companies vs. cable companies. Whenever there are multiple players in a market, they tend to offer better products and better service.
4. The industry needs something new to get excited about – Sometimes, change is good. After years of optimizing campaigns for Google, the search engine marketing industry would benefit from focusing on optimization for a new search solution. If Bing is successful in their market penetration efforts, new companies will rise on the claim that they’re experts in optimizing campaigns for Bing.
5. Google has access to too much information – The reason I didn’t even try Google Chrome, despite the fact that my system administrator recommended it, is because I feel that Google already has access to too much personal information through my searches. Though I am a big believer in online advertising and am not concerned with privacy (my credit card company has access to much more sensitive information than any online advertising company has), I’d rather spread my information across more companies. As I use Gmail (and not Hotmail) as a back-up email provider, I’d personally rather reduce the amount of personal information Google has access to.
The launch of Bing takes me back to 2003, when I was working with a company that was challenging AdSense. In the sub-head of the best press release I have ever written, I noted that my client offered a real challenge to Google. Though the reference to challenging Google was stricken from the press release for political reasons, the concept of challenging Google was a driving force that resulted in a sweet exit for that client four years later.
I can’t wait to change my Internet homepage to Bing.com. Anyone joining me?
Vote in our poll, to the right, “Is Bing better than Google?”