Bing vs. Google: First impressions

By on June 4, 2009 10:02:51 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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So Microsoft has relaunched and rebranded Live Search as “Bing”.

First impressions:

 

Layout:

image

Like most things Microsoft makes, Bing has too much unnecessary junk on it.  The background idea is clever but distracting.

I also don’t like the layout changing when you go to one of the categories. If the categories are on the left side, keep them there.

Basic Search

image

Again, Microsoft’s stuff always feels like it had to get approval by 50 committees. Why does MSN need a link? Why does Windows Live need a link? Why is there a “Web” image in the top corner?  Ah because that shows what I’m currently viewing. But on Chrome it looks weird.

How does Google do?

image

By default, it’s much cleaner.  If I want more, I can click on “Show options”

image

image image

The quality of the search is hard to judge.

On the one hand, Microsoft has put in more effort into finding people on Facebook and other engines.  But the overall quality of Google’s searches seem better or at least have more depth.

I’m going to call it a tie though because it’s close enough that it’s purely subjective.  Live Search was clearly inferior but Microsoft seems to have really upped their game.

Verdict: Tie.

 

#2: Questions!

One of the things I wish search engines were better at is answering questions. They are getting better and Bing seems to be quite good at it:

image

vs.

image

Another:

image

vs.

image

and one more:

image

vs.

image

Verdict: Bing (by quite a bit)

In test after test, Bing was significantly better at handling questions and getting quick answers to facts.

 

#3 Images

image

vs.

image

Verdict: Tie.

This is a tough one because Bing’s image gallery is just much better to use in most respects but the Google image gallery is vastly larger.  Google’s use of drop downs is nice but the screen space used is crazy and the options limited.

 

#4 Videos

image

vs.

image

Verdict: Oh this isn’t even close. Bing blows Google away here.

First, Bing lets you  mouse over videos and they play right in the search. Very impressive tech.  Second, it gets much more on screen. Third, Google now uses half the space to spam users with irrelevant junk.  Which surprises me because Google has YouTube to back it up.

 

#5 Shopping

image image

vs.

image image

Verdict: Tie. They both do a great job here. I wish I could combine the two. The Bing cashback feature sounds interesting though.

 

#6 Finding locations

image image

vs.

image image

Verdict: Google by a mile

 

Other

News: Google by a mile

Efficiency:

image

Certain search items are categorized and give additional information which is very interesting.

image

If Google has something like this, I’m not aware of it.

Overall

Overall I am leaning towards Bing which I am surprised. I had a bit of a bias going in because let’s face it, Live Search wasn’t that great. I remember in the early says of Live Search I would type in Stardock and it would bring up some magazine review of WindowBlinds on ZDNet or something.  But it’s come a long way and Bing is very close to being pretty ideal.

Microsoft still needs to get rid of some of the pointless clutter and they need to index a lot more. The news section on it is pretty basic and it copies Google so unapologetically that I feel a little dirty for using it.  Windows may borrow concepts from the Mac but Bing is basically Google done as a web 2.0 project.

The real winner is all of us.  I like Google a lot (I use Google Chrome) but I wouldn’t want them to be the only game in town.  Bing is a worthy competitor and I find myself in the odd position of having Bing be my default browser for Google Chrome. How backwards is that?

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June 4, 2009 10:13:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ok, that's scary.  Does this give hope for being able to find things on microsoft.com at some distant point in the future?  Outside of a google search of their site, of course.

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June 4, 2009 10:20:06 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I wonder if Bing plays White Christmas in the background during december.

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June 4, 2009 10:38:16 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Found this picture of bing in action while browsing digg.

[removed by moderator -- image of Windows CD-keys]

I have a feeling Microsoft will catch on to this very shortly.

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June 4, 2009 10:45:37 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Interesting. I just binged my username. In the hover results next to my main page, it shows the last comment in my no longer available comments section.

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June 4, 2009 10:54:58 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

This is the first I've heard of Bing, it actually seems quite nice. 

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June 4, 2009 10:55:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm generally a fan of google.  I must admit their video searches are quite annoying.  I feel like it gives me more of what I didn't ask to see than what I did.   Access to google maps is a most, and it would be hard for bing to top it.  The fact that Bing recognizes a question though is something that might make me investigate to form my own opinion.

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June 4, 2009 11:16:11 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Name: Google by a syllable. Seriously, though, I'm surprised it sounds that good as an actual search engine.

One that I like is Wolfram|Alpha. Though it was only able to answer the first question, I now have a ton of info on Lansing. It's pretty powerful at what it does. For instance, there's 115,518 people in Lansing, it's 853 ft above sea level, it's currently 55 degrees (F), and Detroit is 78 miles west-northwest. Then it has graphs and links to Wikipedia. Don't even get me started on the math ability of it.

 

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June 5, 2009 12:51:54 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Great review.  I actually scoffed when I first saw the Bing commercial.  I'm still unhappy with the ...well, as you put it

Microsoft’s stuff always feels like it had to get approval by 50 committees.

Anyways, thanks for the (apparently unbiased) review.  Now, I may have to check this thing out.

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June 5, 2009 3:00:09 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

To be honest. I don't like either. Microsoft and google are both on the list of companies that WANT to invade your privacy and control your world. Google is known to save everything you search to be sold to various companies and organizations for a price, as well as giving all of your search information to the Government. And I'm pretty sure Microsoft would do the same. No thanks.

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June 5, 2009 8:28:59 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

To be honest. I don't like either. Microsoft and google are both on the list of companies that WANT to invade your privacy and control your world. Google is known to save everything you search to be sold to various companies and organizations for a price, as well as giving all of your search information to the Government. And I'm pretty sure Microsoft would do the same. No thanks.

I'm sensing a little paranoia here. You may have to accept the fact that google or not, the Govt, and every other company willing to pay for it, will get your info one way or another.

Personally, I like Googles clean main screen. As Brad put it, Microsoft tends to have too much clutter on their sites. I do commend Bing for their video section. I tested this problem I read on the news that Bing gives easy access to pornography to anyone, including children and it 's true. Just a few clicks to turn off the restriction, which it points to you right off the back, and you can watch short porn films righ from the search screen. Talk about a site I don't want my kids on. As for me, I may keep the video section deep in my bookmarks. 

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June 5, 2009 9:05:28 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

never heard of bing until this moment.......

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June 5, 2009 9:17:10 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

To be honest. I don't like either. Microsoft and google are both on the list of companies that WANT to invade your privacy and control your world. Google is known to save everything you search to be sold to various companies and organizations for a price, as well as giving all of your search information to the Government. And I'm pretty sure Microsoft would do the same. No thanks.

 

Good luck finding a search agent that doesn't. Oh, and your provider gets more info out of you than any search provider could ever get.

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June 5, 2009 9:30:24 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I need a Bing Ubiquity command. 

Bing is a decent search tool at the moment.  I expect that I'll be able to customize my experience with FF extensions and I'll like it even more.

Google's integration to other tools is a win for me though.  My mail, documents, calendar, photos are all there.  Thier mapping rocks.

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June 5, 2009 9:30:24 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I'll go for the engine that does NOT bend to the demands of foreign countries to edit/alter reality via censored search results.

Newspeak....the altering of society by the elimination of conceptualization through expression.

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June 5, 2009 9:46:50 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

You forgot what is most important, which URL is faster to type, Bing vs google, Bing clearly wins!

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June 5, 2009 10:29:03 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Bing: 'Bill is not gone'

Scares me to death!

 

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June 5, 2009 11:39:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting chevelleking,
You forgot what is most important, which URL is faster to type, Bing vs google, Bing clearly wins!

And if you think that wasn't a very clearly thought out design point...

Another point about the name is, if I said I was going to google something, everyone would know exactly what I meant.  However if I said I was going to windows live something, it wouldn't have nearly the same catchyness as say.... binging something?

Ahh market research.

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June 5, 2009 11:45:40 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I'll go for the engine that does NOT bend to the demands of foreign countries to edit/alter reality via censored search results.

Newspeak....the altering of society by the elimination of conceptualization through expression.

 

Which search engine does not engage in this practice?

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June 5, 2009 11:55:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Jafo,
I'll go for the engine that does NOT bend to the demands of foreign countries to edit/alter reality via censored search results.

Newspeak....the altering of society by the elimination of conceptualization through expression.
That's not newspeak.

That'd be something like "altsoc by elimconcept through expression."

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June 5, 2009 11:59:28 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

More bling than bing...

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June 5, 2009 12:16:26 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I wonder if Bing plays White Christmas in the background during december.

heheheheheh .... nice one John

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June 5, 2009 1:09:32 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I wonder if Bing plays White Christmas in the background during december.

heheheheheh .... nice one John

 

seemed obvious

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June 5, 2009 1:24:51 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

One thing I did notice: Google is much MUCH quicker at indexing.

This article is already indexed on Google. Not on Bing.

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June 5, 2009 2:08:47 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I tried the beta several days ago. wasn't very impressed, but also not disappointed. sort of a 'not bad, but also not good.'

in your review I saw many things that were not in the beta, so I checked the bing page again. it was still beta until I selected U.S. as a country of origin and voilá, these features came on. so, a little no-no that they didn't not bother to bring my language version out of beta.

I agree, I like the video feature, it's pretty nice. I also tend to like bing's display of images better. if they'd just had the click on the image do a direct link to it instead of to the emdedded website ( that could be an alternate option, like right click 'go to image's website'), it would be sweet.

also I really like that preview window. what first raised my interest in bing was a newspaper item where it mentioned that it provided some info on the search page, before you go to the pages found themselves. however, in the base version I found it was more or less just like in google, which was a bit too little for me. ideally, I'd like the full context of my search keys displayed on the results  page. with this extra box that pops up, it goes in the right direction. just ... I don't think it works particularly well. more often than not, the information there is not that interesting. also, I generally like the results that google gives in basic searches better, but as you said in the op that may be merely subjective.

in any case, nice to have a decent competitor to google. I'm not particularly keen on data mining companies. if they want my data, I want something in return. in a way I am getting something, namely a good search tool. but still ... . so, maybe I'll just end up using both a bit instead of one exclusively. good job ms though. could use a few improvements, but I'd say it's above the barrier of utility (ie it's good enough to be used as is).

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June 5, 2009 4:54:17 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I like Google a lot (I use Google Chrome) but I wouldn’t want them to be the only game in town.

 

but but YOURE the only skinning app in town!!! (well, that's worth mentioning anyway).  Hopefully you're awareness of dangers of monopolies means you'll keep treating your customers right

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