Today Microsoft launched a new stupid campaign called Bing It On (along with an equally stupid website) which invites users of Google to take a “Pepsi Challenge” of sorts. Presenting users with a blind side-by-side comparison of results from Bing compared to results from Google, Microsoft is attempting to show that Bing is better. Users are asked to select which side of their screen that they think displays better results, and at the end of five rounds, they are told which website is the winner.
As a seasoned veteran Google search user and an amateur Bing hater, I decided to accept Bing’s challenge.
After 5 rounds, I was able to pick the site that was Google every time because Bing just looks stupid. And while the results were nearly identical for all 5 search terms, one thing became immediately clear to me — Bing is doing everything in its power to be exactly like Google.
When has this bullheaded approach to business ever been successful? If a company has created a niche market for itself and has become the dominant player in that niche, when has a rival company ever succeeded by offering exactly the same service in the same manner with the same visual presentation? Bing just doesn’t seem to get it.
Coupled with the fact that Microsoft has been having to run annoying dubstep commercials for Internet Explorer on every possible media, Microsoft is really starting to look like a big loser. While I have seen some of Google’s ads for a few of their newer products, I have yet to see a commercial for their search engine or their web browser Chrome in the middle of an episode of Breaking Bad. These campaigns that Microsoft keeps running for its products scream of desperation. They’re like the rich kid on the playground that will only let you play with his toys in a certain way and then when you switch to playing with some other kid because his toys are better, the rich kid starts bragging about how he has all the same stuff as that other kid. It’s just like, shut up dude, you’re an asshole.
At the completion of the 5 rounds of Bing It On (a slogan that I am confident was coined by a toddler) a user is told which search engine they actually prefer. I chose Google because I know how to tell the two search engines apart, but after that, I was told that “Google may have won this round, but others picked Bing web search results over Google nearly 2 to 1 in blind comparison tests.” This of course is a blatant attempt at peer pressure, despite the fact that just this year, Google has had an 83% market share for search engines, compared to Bing’s pathetic 4%. I mean, they’re even behind Yahoo. Who are they trying to fool?
I’ve been a longtime opponent of the future of Google as a company, but their dominance in the search arena cannot be questioned. Bing will always be known as Microsoft’s perpetually late attempt at joining in on the ad revenue from search results, and it’s really kind of sad to see them keep trying so hard. There comes a point when, as a company, you just need to cut your losses. Hopefully Microsoft will learn this and stop telling us that it feels like they are just to close to love us.