To say that Microsoft and Google haven’t been getting along nicely as of late would be putting it mildly. First Microsoft attacked Google Docs, then they took to warning users about getting “Scroogled”. Many figured these attacks were at least partially responsible for Google’s decision to kill support for Activesync with Gmail, a move which has a strong impact on Microsoft platforms like Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 where users don’t have a dedicated Gmail app. Thus Gmail users on Microsoft platforms would be forced to use IMAP. I personally opted to simply stop using Gmail instead since Google didn’t deem attacking Microsoft back as good enough and decided to impact users instead.
Earlier this week, though, Microsoft was at it again with “Bing It On“. The new site allows you to enter five search queries. The results from both Bing and Google are displayed side-by-side. Users then vote on which set of results is better. Users aren’t supposed to be able to tell which search engine results are which, those in a few instances I noticed there was an option in the results of one of the competitors to use a cached version of the page, a dead giveaway that those were Google’s results.
After going through all five searches, users are then presented with a results screen showing who won the showdown. I have to admit that Bing won for me, actually getting the nod in 4 of the 5 searches. Many of them were simply which results I thought were better or came from more official sources. In the search pictured above for Fedora Linux, I liked that Bing actually gives you a Downloads button that will take you to the downloads page on Fedora’s site. While Google has a quick link to the Downloads page listed underneath the main link to the Fedora Project, it isn’t nearly as prominent.
What really surprised me, though, was that I did a search where I would misspell the query to see who handled it the best. My search for “Ford” turned into a search for “Forde”. In the Bing search results, ford.com was the very first hit. The first page of Google results didn’t even have a listing for “ford”. I was pretty shocked since historically I’ve always had better luck in Google with misspellings.
While I don’t know if I exactly agree with Microsoft’s method of blatantly attacking Google at every turn, I have to admit that I’m finding myself more and more agreeing with them on each point they make. Bing It On is the perfect example since I clearly favored Bing’s search results over Google’s. I just hope that users don’t suffer as a result since Google has already demonstrated its willingness to make users suffer as a means of getting back at Microsoft. I can’t help but wonder if that’s the route they take because they can’t actually refute Microsoft’s attacks.