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Gerry Patterson, Your Very Humble And Trustworthy Blogger

Bing Bang Bungle


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Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 01:41:51 +1000

There has been an extraordinary amount of hyperbola and quite inaccurate speculation about the significance of Microsoft's foray into search. And as the dust settles it is now apparent that Bing will not be the giant killer app that some so-called tech journalists would have us believe.

The Internet has enabled information to spread rapidly around the globe. This is why pictures of a young girl murdered by neo-fascist militia in Iran will, almost instantly, be in newspapers and on Television, despite a media blackout in that country. And yet sometimes the information that spreads rapidly may not be entirely accurate. Even though information spreads rapidly, sometimes it may take more than a few minutes to digest and evaluate the torrent of information and opinions pouring in from the Internet.

And so, it may take weeks or even months to see how the situation evolves in Iran as young people in that country try to twitter and blog their theocratic dictatorship out of business. On a less serious note, it is now obvious that the greatly hyped "Bing Hiatus" is over. However it may take weeks to declare the patient dead.

Nevertheless there have been some extraordinary over-blown claims about the significance of Microsoft's search engine. In fact, ever since Microsoft announced they would try to take over Yahoo, there has been enough bullshit to fertilise millions of acres of now dormant sub-prime American speculative real estate.

Sometimes it's hard to be humble. And in the face of the ridiculous claims by a small but vocal band of Microsofties, your humble blogger is sorely tempted to abandon humility and resort to outright scorn and derision.

Google has many fish to fry. Among them Android, Chrome, Cloud apps and the integration of all of those. There is also the crucial balancing act Google tries to perform between the competing user demands for more personalised data and the demands of privacy advocacy groups. Not to mention the balancing act between the demands of civil liberties groups and the demands of the 300 lb totalitarian gorilla that is modern China.

In other words, Google faces many challenges. But Bing is not one of them.

Bing has not, is not and will not come close to challenging Google. The very best Microsoft can hope for is to inconvenience Yahoo (as if Yahoo needed any more grief!) and even then Bing will struggle to catch Yahoo. The poor performance, artless dearth of innovation and wide-eyed certainty about frills and eye-candy just will not keep Bing afloat in the cruel and unforgiving sea of Internet search.

From Sydney, webmaster Brian Robson has reported some statistics for Bing's market share as a percentage, which your humble blogger has turned into a graph:

Bing Blip
Graph of Percentage Usage For Bing.

Brian runs a few small humble sites, just as does your own humble blogger. And the Internet is composed of millions of such humble sites. And they are not seeing the sort of ridiculous market share that some Bing spin doctors claim. Bing made a little splash for a week or so, rising to just over 4%, and is now back to a level slightly higher then the previous distant third place in the search engine rankings.

It would be amusing to note down some of the ridiculous claims being made about Bing and compare them with the cold hard reality of Bing's market share in six months time.


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