Why I switched to Bing

Why I switched to Bing

Summary: I've been using Google since its early days, back when Yahoo was still a good place to search. Yet switching to Bing as my default search engine has been a real pleasure. Here's why.


I've been using Google since its early days, back when Yahoo was still a good place to search. Yet switching to Bing as my default search engine has been a real pleasure. Here's why.

Search is a natural outgrowth of massive storage. If you can't find it, it's as if you'd never stored it.

What about the search results? Short answer: no difference that I've noticed. Maybe the order is different, but I'm not about to do a side-by-side comparison.

Why? Because my criterion for results is simple: do I get results I can use or not?

I do dozens of searches a day, often on arcane storage, academic and public policy topics. Either the results tell me what I want to know or they don't.

Verdict: I can't tell the difference between Bing and Google results.

10 years ago Google was an obvious improvement over Yahoo and Alta Vista, an earlier favorite. Today comprehensive search results are a commodity.

Then why switch? It's the little things.

Preferences that work. I like 30-50 results on a page, not 10. That stopped working on Google some months ago. Yes, I searched - on Google - for an answer and tried a couple of things, but no joy.

I also like shopping results in a grid, not a list. That also stopped working, so now I have to click on the grid option every time. I looked for a preference to change that but again, no joy.

Easier to use maps. Living in a small isolated town I go a lot of places I've never been before. Google Maps is good, but Bing maps drop into a close-up of the address, rather than a distant view.

I still end up clicking out or in to get more info, but its fewer clicks with Bing. It would be better if there were a preference to set initial map scale though.

Getting directions is more obvious as well. You don't have to go to the map and then click "directions" - you can do enter your start address from the results page.

Oddly, Bing does seem to insist on a state in the address before it puts up a map - even if the results show it "knows" what state the address is in.

It's a little thing - and it works.

More functional design. The use of white space is, IMHO, makes Bing look and work better. Results are more easily scanned and options are clearer.

I find what I'm looking for faster. That's the idea, isn't it?

The Storage Bits take I wasn't looking to change search preferences, but then a resolutely non-techie friend said she'd switched. "Why?" I asked.

She said she found Bing easier. That always gets my attention. Isn't that what computers are for?

So I tried it. It's easy on Firefox and Safari to switch. And she was right.

This is what competition is all about. Google can get me back, but they've got a lot of work to do.

Comments welcome, of course. Google's UI design process is broken. Will new CEO Page fix it?

Update: I'm not alone. From Friday's WSJ, Comscore: Microsoft's Bing Gains Share

. . . Microsoft's Bing search engine climbed to 13.1% of the U.S. search market in January from 12% in December, while Google declined to 65.6% in January from 66.6% in December. . . .

End update.

Topics: Browser, Google, Hardware, Storage

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  • RE: Why I switched to Bing

    Bing is nice, but I really wish they would hurry up with the HTML5 work they demoed earlier last year. It was quite impressive to watch, but so far we have heard nothing about it since.

    But, generally, I am in agreement. Google, quite frankly, has become this behemoth that scares me. These past two years have seen Google, time and time again show consumers that privacy means nothing to them, and they only care about how much information they can gather about us, both legally, and illegally.
    They've become this entity which really should be avoided. Someone needs to tell them that their behavior is unacceptable.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Why I stay with Google

      @Cylon Centurion 0005<br><br>I am a nerd, which means that I have taken the time to understand Google's financial model: they make most of their money through advertising, and they're quite good at it. Therefore, they work tirelessly to give quality internet services for free, which draws a large user base, which increases ad space and ad dollars. B/c I know this, and b/c I love free Google internet services, I refuse to block Google's ads, and I refuse to use Bing. I mean, think about all the things Google just gives away: Gmail, Gtalk, Google Calendar, Buzz, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Reader, Blogger, Picasa, Web Albums, AdWords, AdSense, AdMob, YouTube/Google Video, Google Earth, Google News, Product Searth, Latitude, Maps/Navigation, Voice Search, Google Translation, Sky Map, Google Listen, Goggles, Shopper, Books, Street View (now w/Art), Picnik, Checkout, Finance, Weather, Google Instant, FastFlip, HotPot, Scholar Search, and the updated Android Market, just to name a few. So, even if it means I look at more white space and have to click through the viewing options I want (non-issue), I'll stick with Google.
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing

        @Kangaruhs<br><br>I understand the appeal of "free" stuff from Google. But as you allude to in your post, it's not really free. You pay for your use of Google services with your privacy and personal information. People don't seem to understand that we (the regular users) aren't actually Google's customers. Google's customers are advertisers. They meet the needs of advertisers by monetizing our information... They partially compensate us by giving us "free" stuff but, based on Google's balance sheet, it seems that Google gets the lions share of the benefit.
      • Why I stay with Google

        @marksashton as if Bing/MS doesn't want make money from advertising. Come on. They're just not as good at it. They are good at stealing Google's results though.

        @Kangaruhs nice points. I think Google Earth is one of the most incredible applications to ever be released.
        K B
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing


        Exactly. Microsoft and Google both steal our data but Microsoft's inability to do anything useful with it is preferable to Google deducing loads of stuff about their users. Ethically they're on a par, but lack of execution helps MS a bit.
      • ....and you only had to sell your soul

        @Kangaruhs Would you ever freely give the personal data that you give to the Google cloud to your government if they asked for it (where you are....who you know....what you discuss....who you're meeting etc)?? Along comes Google with some candy and you're giving it all up. Didn't your mommy ever tell you about starngers with candy?? Bad news!!
      • You just named about 35 different ways that Google can invade your privacy

        and you seem to not care. <br><br>Apparently, to you, "free" overrides any of your privacy rights.<br><br>That's nuts!
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing

        @Kangaruhs Touche'
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing

        @Kangaruhs Agree 100%! ....some of these fools (like Robin) have been Microsoft cronies since day one. They only use this "I've Switched" non-sense to better promote a loser. Bing has only ever taken away market share from Yahoo, their supposed partner. Sounds like their good old "Embrace Extend Extinguish" formula is back in play.... again. Just when you think they've changed their ways they go and prove you wrong by stealing from Google too. Amazing how we now see Google rightly watermarking Google Earth maps. Otherwise MS was already stealing stuff from them. Think Robin would mention this? Not on your life. He a good old boy and loves to bump chests with Balmer, but won't admit it! ^_^

        btw... that decline is due to China.... fool!
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing

        For most products Google gives away, there is an equivalent free product from MS too...
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing

        @Kangaruhs - hmmm...you read like yet another Microsoft zealot that only wants a Microsoft world. NO Personal Info. escapes from my PC to the world because I use Google. You are a ranter with no knowledge of what is really going on here.
        The Danger is Microsoft
      • What if you're merely a fanboi?

        Wow! So, you are a grateful believer of the great and benevolent Google. Thou shalt have no other search engine before Google. By the way, I do not often come across many "nerds" who have the time or inclination to understand financial models and your comments hardly indicative deep financial expertise. Your devotion, I'm sure, is much appreciated by Google, but it is not a rational or logical argument of why one would use a product regardless of its merits. Capitalism is built on the financial and economic assumption that consumers do what's best for themselves-- not "even if it means I look at more white space and have to click through the viewing options I want, I'll stick with Google."
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing

        @Kangaruhs Microsoft gives away most of those things too. So, there is no reason (from your perspective) not to look at BING.
      • What white space?


        My preferences are set at 50 results per page.

        Methinks there is another problem.

        JJ Brannon
      • re: What if you're merely a fanboi?


        [i]Capitalism is built on the financial and economic assumption that consumers do what's best for themselves[/i]

        The notion that consumers are rational has been thoroughly debunked.
        none none
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing

        Free Garbage is garbage just the same. Google should not be trusted, ever.
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing

        Please name them. I'll be waiting.
    • RE: Why I switched to Bing

      @Cylon Centurion 0005
      BIG mistake!
      Bing is inferior by design despite it's effort to copy google results.
      Linux Geek
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing

        @Linux Geek How can be Bing copying Googles results, when the results returned are better!
      • RE: Why I switched to Bing

        @Linux Geek dude, do you really know anything about search engine ? Just accusing someone is immature just like what Google did. A search engine requires humungous amount of code and algorithms E2E. Unless you have everything same, you can't claim that bing copies results from google. Use some common sense. try searching for some keywords, you will not find exact same results in two search engines.

        I like both the search engines, but Bing is improving at a blazing fast rate and I have switched to Bing probably because I am using IE 8/9 and default is Bing. I havn't really faced any issue finding what I want via Bing. This is a clear indication that Bing is really good, if not better than Google. Their index needs to grow though to spread their marketshare worldwide.