To Bing or Not to Bing

It’s been a little over 2 months now since Microsoft unveiled Bing, its shiny new toy in the form of a search engine – feedback has been trickling in and it appears to be… good?!

Huh.

This comes as an intriguing surprise. As I’m sure we’re all aware, Microsoft has faced embarrassing parodies and has been the butt of many (good) jokes due to some of their, shall we say, “less-than-stellar” products, as well as their “What in the hell were you thinking?!” marketing schemes. (Please see the horrific video below selling Internet Explorer 8 as an example. WARNING: Not for the faint of heart, or anyone who’s eaten in the past 20 minutes.)

Despite my ongoing therapy for the nightmare that was Vista, it seems that Microsoft is making a stand with Bing. And it seems it’s something that the company can be proud of. TIME reported that Bing’s entrance into the online search playing field added “two percentage points to Microsoft’s 8.4% search share in its first week of operation.” Not bad, Microsoft, not bad.

It’s true that the Bing search is incredibly fast. The explorer and preview panels are both quite fun and interactive additions to a search engine. And it’s just so darn shiny and new looking. Who wouldn’t be attracted?

And this is all before the upcoming partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo has yet to take effect with integrating advertising in Bing – something that Microsoft has gotten their butt kicked in. All these perks that Bing provides conjures up the inevitable question: What kind of deep doo-doo is Google in now?

Let’s face it – everyone loves new things that are shiny. Bing is exactly that. Check out this side-by-side comparison between Bing search vs. Google search and you’ll see what the fuss is about. I mean, personally even as (one of) Google’s #1 fans, Google search is starting to look a little “blah” next to Bing. Who would have thunk this was possible?

But then I remember Google’s corporate philosophy of “Don’t be evil,” and look at the pictures of Google headquarters (like the one below) – and remember why I am a Google kind of gal.

Wow. Life at Google.

Wow. Life at Google. Look inside.

As brands, Google definitely has a warmer, more friendly… and just overall happier vibe. It’s hard for Microsoft to compete with this and buck it’s stiff, corporate image. Microsoft is really a behemoth who controls so much – sure Google is the #1 search engine, but Microsoft is definitely leading in software which is a much bigger market. For Microsoft, it’s hard to picture them doing anything with something other than money in mind.

Because of this, to me Bing LOOKS really nice and has quality features, but I can’t associate any warm fuzzies when using it. But who knows? Maybe Bing will suck me in. Maybe it is indeed better (questionable). But meanwhile I still have to support the Google underdog.

In the meantime, maybe Google can just update with a spiffier homepage just for kicks.

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