Save us Bing! Your our only hope! Apparently…


A thrilling new entry in the “will write false dichotomies for food” awards as James Kirby at the Age tells us that because Google are bad, Microsoft must be good. Right?

GOOGLE’S ultimate rival, Microsoft, is taking on the giant search engine company with a $100 million service that will be called “Bing”. Not a bad name and not a bad idea because Google is rapidly becoming to the internet what John Paul Getty’s Standard Oil was a century ago … that is, Google has a stranglehold on the web and that is very bad news indeed.

Well, while we’re on the subject of product strangleholds and lock ins does the Windows operating system ring any bells with anyone? Pot? Kettle? Dark color?

The Google “lock” on internet search activity is going to be very difficult to break — even Microsoft admits that. Recent attempts to crack Google’s dominance have been marginal. Yahoo trails far behind; Bing’s precursor, Microsoft’s Live Search, trails further still.

Because they aren’t as good – I’m sorry, but it’s true. Love ’em or hate ’em, what Google do, they currently do better than anyone.

I hope Bing makes headway because Google’s iron grip is a real concern when it comes to market competition and potential innovation. At what they call the “back end” of the internet — the architecture that sits behind a million websites — Google is no longer a factor. It is the differentiator.

To succeed on the internet, a business must rank high on Google. It’s the only rule when it comes to traffic and that applies to any business where something is being sold or promoted online — airline tickets, bank loans, books … even news.

And again, just what percentage of (non Apple) hardware is sold without a windows OS pre-installed? How many businesses use MS Word as a defacto document exchange format (shudder)? I love a bit or irony as much as the next guy, but really?

A decade ago when America Online joined with TimeWarner, the media caught its breath — it seemed like the transmitters of content, and not the content providers, were going to rule the world. Now we know that never came to pass.

AOL was ubiquitous in the early days of the internet because it offered a simple way for people who didn’t understand the technology to get online. But it’s worth nothing now because, and let’s be honest, it was complete pants.

The winners on the internet are those that control the presentation and retrieval of information. Today that simply means Google, but one company won’t rule the show forever. Bing may be the beginning of better days for all concerned.

I’ve said it before, just what makes everybody think that a Microsoft Search monopoly will in any way be less evil than a Google one?

Bing may be a “Google killer”. Bing may be “the beginning of better days for all concerned”. It may be the cure for cancer and male pattern baldness. But I doubt it.


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