Microsoft pokes fun at Google's background image feature

TechCrunch reports Microsoft Europe took a jab at Google’s new search engine feature, that allows a custom background image on its search engine, with one of their tweets today stating, “We’ve lost a background image, if found please return to bing.com.”

For people unaware, Google had added a feature that would allow the ability to display a customizable background on its search engine’s homepage. Google updated the search engine recently, displaying a test background image of tulips, hoping to make people aware of the feature.

The folks over at Microsoft seem to be having fun taking light hearted jabs at Google. Ashley Highfeild, a MD with Microsoft UK tweeted, “Imitation (however pale) is the sincerest form of flattery: a certain search engine put up the same pic (tulip fields) used on Bing long ago.”

Peter Bale, Executive Producer of MSN UK also tweeted, “How intriguing to see friends at Google borrowing the Bing homepage #photography idea. http://google.co.uk http://bing.co.uk.”

The fun however might be short lived, as it seems Google will no longer be using the default backgrounds due to user complaints, and have indeed deactivated them for the time being.

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81 Comments

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Magallanes said,
The problem is not who copy to who but who copied a successful feature and failed miserably.

It's not unheard of to have a background image on a website. Google just never had a background image and always had a plain white background. And Google users are just so used to that.

I can't help but view this with cynicism considering that bing's whole design concept was a direct rip-off of google. Compare the old live search with bing - I wonder where they got the idea of minimalism from eh? The hypocrisy of MS is astonishing. I can't think of a single thing they have created which wasn't a direct copy / and or derivative of another's work. The dictionary definition of 'mimic' should contain a reference to MS as a prime example. No need to rant further, as it's patently obvious MS hasn't got a create bone in their entire company, pot, kettle, black, etc, nuff said.

Uh. If you're gonna throw the word derivative into the mix, then you're shooting yourself in the foot. Can you think of anything that any tech company has come up with in the past 15 years that isn't at the very least derived from something else?

Gmail is just another web mail service (calling folders 'labels' and removing sorting features).

Linux is just another *nix derivative.

OS X took cues from NeXTSTEP.

KDE is...well, lol. Its users get really, really worked up if you say it takes cues from Windows.

But hey, can you think of anything that Bing image search is copying? Cuz last I checked, it's the only seamless, scrolling mainstream image search engine.

Oh, and the Zune/WP7 user interface. Is that copying anyone else?

Google was running a test. And the fact that people complained which I expected shows that people like the plain search initially. It is quick to load and allows you to focus on what? Oh right searching...

However, I must say that Bing did load quite fast when I started playing with it too and the images were very vivid even if I myself did not care if they were there or not. The next cool feature would be to have the background also change on your desktop =P

Orange Battery said,
Cant believe MS done that lol after all the stuff they copy!!

All companies copy, but not as open as Google did this.

Glendi said,

All companies copy, but not as open as Google did this.

LOL you must be new or something. It's the epitome of gall for MS to riff on someone copying them, considering how MS has ripped off Apple, Google and UNIX for years. It's pretty shameless for them to dare go there, but then we all know MS has no shame.

Glendi said,

All companies copy, but not as open as Google did this.

Copying a wallpaper? OMG have you seen what MS and other companies have done in the past?

droozel said,
I like background pictures on Bing, but what I saw yesterday on google.. That was a disaster

Agreed i like the blank Google. When i saw that my head hurt a little.

I love the bing images, one of the main reasons I have it as my homepage. And there background packs of there 'best' they release for windows 7 all the time are awesome to.

I don't get the hatred for Bing's images. They load faster than most text-only sites (I get them instantly), the mouse-overs are sometimes interesting, and generally they feed into the boredom we all deal with on the internet.

Seriously, Wikipedia is wildly successful, and talk about a slow load time! Wikipedia has the WORST homepage load time for such a low-key site I can remember since dial-up. Where's the hate?

Oh, right. They're an 'open community' and 'not Microsoft', therefore we automatically love them no matter how clunky and inefficient the design.

Joshie said,
I don't get the hatred for Bing's images. They load faster than most text-only sites (I get them instantly), the mouse-overs are sometimes interesting, and generally they feed into the boredom we all deal with on the internet.

Seriously, Wikipedia is wildly successful, and talk about a slow load time! Wikipedia has the WORST homepage load time for such a low-key site I can remember since dial-up. Where's the hate?

Oh, right. They're an 'open community' and 'not Microsoft', therefore we automatically love them no matter how clunky and inefficient the design.


Oh come on. There were a lot of complaints when Google introduced these backgrounds too.

Sometimes people just don't like a feature. Don't go all conspiratory and defensive about it just because you like Microsoft.

Sometimes people just don't like a feature.

Who said anything about a conspiracy? I'm talking about knee-jerk responses. Like your own, where you reduce my entire comment to liking Microsoft, as if a person can't even disagree with Generic Internet Criticism™ for Microsoft without being two-dimensional. I hate on Ballmer whenever I think about the projects that have been canned (the only person worse than Ballmer in the Courier drama is the person who goes out of their way to post 'Vaporware' in the comments thread of EVERY SINGLE Courier article on the internet).

No, it's far more two-dimensional to be one of those knee-jerk types that gets all angry and worked up every time Microsoft releases a new product. The moronic, idiotic, retards that actually think they don't sound like they still wet the bed every night whenever they say ridiculous crap like "Microsoft should be spending more time fixing _____ instead of doing this!!!"

Panda X said,
For me that comment struck as an elitist statement. Especially with that wink after it.

Uh, unless you've been living under a rock for 20 years, the people in charge of these companies are generally all stuck-up types. Schmidt wants to reshape the internet to fit his own ego, read ANY of Steve Jobs' famous email responses over the last few months, and Linus Torvalds? LOL. Talk about a pompous smartass.

lordcanti86 said,
Dear Google,
If you're gonna copy it, then at least do it right

What's wrong with this way? You can pick backgrounds you actually like, and unlike Bing where I live at least, you can also turn the background off. *gasp*

Oh, har har. Good one, Microsoft. Don't you have more important things to worry about than jabbing others through a worthless medium like Twitter? Here, let me help:

Release a new, slim Xbox 360 with updated hardware,
Hire decent Zune marketing team,

And so on.

bjoswald said,
Oh, har har. Good one, Microsoft. Don't you have more important things to worry about than jabbing others through a worthless medium like Twitter? Here, let me help:

Release a new, slim Xbox 360 with updated hardware,
Hire decent Zune marketing team,

And so on.

Because Bing's developers work on Zune and 360, right?

bjoswald said,
Oh, har har. Good one, Microsoft. Don't you have more important things to worry about than jabbing others through a worthless medium like Twitter? Here, let me help:

You're right on the money about Twitter. Who the hell even noticed what some guy at Microsoft twitted. (No, Twitter-loving twits, not "tweeted", not according to the English language).

Adamodeus said,
... twitted. (No, Twitter-loving twits, not "tweeted", not according to the English language).
No, English rules would say "twittered". Or you can just stick to what people actually use, which is how English really works.

The bing backgrounds are actually quite nice, compared to what google did. I tried switching to bing but I am too used to google calculations like: 2GB = ?MB.

buckhole said,
The bing backgrounds are actually quite nice, compared to what google did. I tried switching to bing but I am too used to google calculations like: 2GB = ?MB.

2048 MB

Most of the conversions are available on bing using the same syntax, 2gigabyte = ?megabyte actually works, surprising they don't pick up on the abbreviations.

Kitty Karloso said,
Most of the conversions are available on bing using the same syntax, 2gigabyte = ?megabyte actually works, surprising they don't pick up on the abbreviations.

nice thanks

buckhole said,

nice thanks

hmm. works. but to restrective. I had to type like that 2 gigabytes = ? megabytes. Without (s) it didn't work. google's conversion is a bit flexible

buckhole said,
The bing backgrounds are actually quite nice, compared to what google did. I tried switching to bing but I am too used to google calculations like: 2GB = ?MB.

Well duh!
Bing is a "Decision Engine". If you want to calculate stuff you need a "Computational Knowledge Engine"
http://www.wolframalpha.com/

buckhole said,
The bing backgrounds are actually quite nice, compared to what google did. I tried switching to bing but I am too used to google calculations like: 2GB = ?MB.

Except Google doesn't' do them properly. Use the full words and Bing does it correctly as well.

There are differences between GB, Gb, Mb, MB etc... Google doesn't handle this properly, and only gives the answer if the uppercase abbreviations are used.

(2 gigabytes = ? megabytes) Works on Both; however: (2 Gigabits = ? Megabytes) or other cross converstions of bits, bytes, and other units only works on Bing.

Bing +1
Google -1

thenetavenger said,

Except Google doesn't' do them properly. Use the full words and Bing does it correctly as well.

There are differences between GB, Gb, Mb, MB etc... Google doesn't handle this properly, and only gives the answer if the uppercase abbreviations are used.

(2 gigabytes = ? megabytes) Works on Both; however: (2 Gigabits = ? Megabytes) or other cross converstions of bits, bytes, and other units only works on Bing.

Bing +1
Google -1

http://www.imgftw.net/img/372425793.PNG
Er, no.

asdavis10 said,

You must be a fanboy. Nice to meet you.

He's merely stating the hypocrisy, and you, merely stating how naive you are.

asdavis10 said,

You must be a fanboy. Nice to meet you.

A fanboy said a fanboy, fanboy. Where is our world leading to? Fanboys?

zerrar said,

A fanboy said a fanboy, fanboy. Where is our world leading to? Fanboys?

it is some sort of nerd vs geek fight.

They look beautiful but... I can't even stand the regular google.com page anymore... where it fades the second i try to do something! I stick with the firefox google startpage because it loads instantly and is simple.

Background images on bing are nice. Like the background on iGoogle.

But it's really a lot of noise for nothing. Background images are as old as the web itself.

Let's say i do not chose the web search engine i'm using based on a background image. I think visually bing looks better then google.

Ahah cool joke. It sucked, increased page loading time, removed the simplicity that people are used to in Google's search page. Glad they've listened to the people and have it removed.
That's one of the reasons why Bing! is a bag of fail while Google prospers.


both of you care to explain why?
I think they are intresting

I think they're distracting and add absolutely nothing to my "searching experience", especially when the image only shows up less than a quarter than a second before I press enter. That's why I said I don't like them, not that everyone doesn't like them.

Lechio said,
Ahah cool joke. It sucked, increased page loading time, removed the simplicity that people are used to in Google's search page. Glad they've listened to the people and have it removed.
That's one of the reasons why Bing! is a bag of fail while Google prospers.

If load times determine win/fail, then I guess that means you prefer Bing for image searches, where there is NO load time wasted on clicking next-page links. EVER.

virtorio said,

I think they're distracting and add absolutely nothing to my "searching experience", especially when the image only shows up less than a quarter than a second before I press enter.
+1

brent3000 said,

both of you care to explain why?

Personal preference, what can I say?

Honestly, sometimes they're just a bit too busy if not totally ugly, and even when there is one I like, it's only a few in between. Overall, I'm not much a fan of background images, unless they're small repeating tiled images that can be made to look nice, such as diagonal stripes and such.

virtorio said,
I'd laugh, but I don't like the backgrounds on Bing either.

Agreed. all the background image does is add bloat.

virtorio said,

I think they're distracting and add absolutely nothing to my "searching experience", especially when the image only shows up less than a quarter than a second before I press enter. That's why I said I don't like them, not that everyone doesn't like them.

The image has to load only once. It will appear instantly every other time. You're just making up excuses, really.

Glendi said,

The image has to load only once. It will appear instantly every other time. You're just making up excuses, really.


Did I hurt your feelings for having a opinion? I empty my browser cache on a regular basis, so it loads every time I visit bing.com. Apart from saying I didn't really like it, I never said it was bad nor did I say they should get rid of it. Simply, that I'm not a fan of it.

virtorio said,

Did I hurt your feelings for having a opinion? I empty my browser cache on a regular basis, so it loads every time I visit bing.com. Apart from saying I didn't really like it, I never said it was bad nor did I say they should get rid of it. Simply, that I'm not a fan of it.

Regularly as in EVERY hour? The image changes once a day dude. If you clear the cache every hour you better use the Private Browsing feature.

Glendi said,

Regularly as in EVERY hour? The image changes once a day dude. If you clear the cache every hour you better use the Private Browsing feature.


I use Bing maybe once a week, if that.

virtorio said,
I'd laugh, but I don't like the backgrounds on Bing either.

As a person with intelectual curiosity as myself and many of my friends, I find Bing backgrounds interesting and I find myself many times wanting to know more about the place or subject highlighted. I can say that I've learn many new things with these backgrounds, they look awesome and the do not slow down the page, since you can start typing before the background is loaded. I feel sorry for other people here with no intelectual curiosity that cannot appreciate informative beauty.

Charles Keledjian said,

As a person with intelectual curiosity as myself and many of my friends, I find Bing backgrounds interesting and I find myself many times wanting to know more about the place or subject highlighted. I can say that I've learn many new things with these backgrounds, they look awesome and the do not slow down the page, since you can start typing before the background is loaded. I feel sorry for other people here with no intelectual curiosity that cannot appreciate informative beauty.


I don't need background images on my search engine front page to be curious about the world or learn information. As for your BS about "intellectual curiosity", I'm not even going to bother.

dead.cell said,

Personal preference, what can I say?

Honestly, sometimes they're just a bit too busy if not totally ugly, and even when there is one I like, it's only a few in between. Overall, I'm not much a fan of background images, unless they're small repeating tiled images that can be made to look nice, such as diagonal stripes and such.

*cough* rainbow lighter *cough*