Bing: hey Microsoft, you may find its time to give up the search
This is the bing result for Vista Service Pack 2 on Microsoft’s own download site. Bing can’t find it. No results. Zilch. Nothing. What about a Google search?
Well. Let’s take a look. The result may surprise you…
Google reaches the parts Bing can’t
Just look at that. Google’s got it right first time. And this isn’t a one off example. Many Microsoft Site searches will fail if you use Bing.
So what’s gone wrong with bing?
I was lucky enough to talk to Microsoft’s Head of Search Technology, Jordi Ribas. This was in 2009, just before the launch. Microsoft invited a number of on-line technical people to hear about the Company’s ambitious plans for search.
Jordi is a clever guy, open, thoughtful, obviously very intelligent and innovative. Acedemic, with patents for video compression technology. He knows search. Microsoft wanted desperately to catch Google. Not just catch though, but win.
Bing was starting to look good, with graphics, thumbnails, contextual smart tricks. But Google responded. Its Open Source community developers raised the bar. Whatever strategy Bing came up with, Google came up with something better.
There was talk of Bing copying Google’s results, making out they were their own.
Google laid a honey trap for Bing to show this.
It seemed that everything Microsoft tried to achieve, Google had a better answer.
Surely not on MIcrosoft’s own sites though?
Using Bing externally to search for Microsoft downloads
Bing actually suggested this to me. And if you try, it works. But there’s a problem.
Microsoft advises not to use any links external to their own site for downloads.
Using Bing externally – as opposed to an internal Bing, on the page site search reveals a number of non-Microsoft sites featuring Microsoft downloads.
Sites that could contain malware or non-legal Microsoft software!
Chaos theory and the joy of search
Google cut its teeth on the Internet’s unstructured content. It’s at home in chaos. Finding results in this environment is challenging, almost an organic science.
It should be no surprise that Google should find data wherever it may be hidden. Extracting information from Microsoft’s more structured data stores is no big deal. But what does Bing’s failure to score mean to Microsoft?
Losing the needle in the corporate haystack
Corporate information is the new battlefield. Everyone’s creating it, everywhere. Whoever can gather it up and make sense of it takes all.
If Bing fails in its own back yard – on Microsoft’s own information stores – its over.
Microsoft wants to push SharePoint and document management as it’s ace card. But if you bolt Bing onto your Microsoft platforms, then it won’t work.
Would you throw hundreds of thousands on a Microsoft information management solution if it couldn’t well – manage information?
Of course, you could spend even more and go for MicrosoftÂ Fast Search Server. Until, of course you see the cost of it!
With Open Source offerings like KnowledgeTree and Google search appliances, corporate information management is in far better – and lower cost hands.
Make no mistake, This is a big deal. Bing is flawed. its failing to find information. Will Microsoft keep playing catch up or give up the search?