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.
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.
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.