Editorial

Windows 8 is Bing's big break

I love Bing. I love the Rewards program, I love the way it looks, the way it presents the news to me, and yes, I love the search results, too. Bing is a search engine that cares about design and aesthetic, and not only is it better than Google, at least in my opinion, it's also so much less invasive than Google's increasingly creepy services.

It seems like most people who take the time to really use Bing and adjust to what it has to offer feel the same way that I do. But it's still facing an uphill climb, and there's a lot of hostility some places. Thanks to Windows 8, though, 2012 really could be the year that starts to change.

Windows 8 is going to be the first time that Microsoft has really integrated its online services with its operating system on the same scale as Google or Apple. For the first time, some of Microsoft's really superb, and sometimes obscure, services will be front and center.

Microsoft's Online Services Devision gets a lot of hate from some investors, and up until now that's kind of been a fair assessment; as far as returns go, it's just been a massive money sink. Yet Microsoft has held on to it, steadily improving and expanding, and pouring even more money into it. Microsoft is one of the few companies that has the resources and willpower for the long term, and there's no better example of that than its online offerings.

This article could really apply to any of Microsoft's online offerings, but I'm focusing on Bing because it's really the most visible one, the 'gateway drug' to Microsoft's other services, and also because Bing seems to be the one with the most potential to bring in a continuous stream of revenue.

Windows 8 will finish the job Microsoft's massive marketing campaigns started: it will make Bing the most visible and ubiquitous search engine by making it front and center on the world's most popular OS.

Sure, Google will offer their alternatives to Windows 8 users, but I really doubt that they'll be able to tie them together nearly as neatly as Microsoft's services are going to be tied together. A combination of the OS itself, Internet Explorer, a plethora of apps, and even hardware, will ensure that.

By getting Windows 8 users hooked on Bing, Microsoft can continue making a profit long after customers buy their copy of Windows, and by offering a great alternative to Google, they'll even be able to draw in users of other platforms. Heck, considering the level of hate between Apple and Google, I really wouldn't be surprised to see Bing become the default search provider in Safari at some point in the near future, and SkyDrive already works great on both OS X and iOS.

Now, all that might seem a little hard to swallow to some people. I realize that there are a lot of skeptics when it comes to Bing, and just about every day there's an article somewhere that calls it Microsoft's folly. But consider this: it doesn't even matter if Google is the de-facto verb for 'search,' not when Bing is totally integrated to every device you use. And when it comes to mobile, even if Windows Phone stays a fairly niche product (which is unlikely), Microsoft can easily establish an extremely lucrative base with it.

Finally, keep in mind that Microsoft isn't the only one who needs to see Bing succeed; you do, too, whether you know it or not. No other search engine has been able to go head to head with Google on the same scale as Bing has (that probably has a lot to do with the amount of money Microsoft has spent on it, but that's beside the point), and the fact is we need a solid alternative to Google. Competition is good - anyone remember IE6?

Image via: GNT

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40 Comments

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Somebody that hasn't been following any W8 stuff, I have no idea how it is so integrated? I assume it is more integrated than being IE's default search engine.

Though challenging Google? Thats gonna take some work. All that data mining that Google does, also known as spying, improves Google search results on so many levels in comparison to Bing. I just tried searching my own project on Google vs Bing - the results from Google are far more relevant.

Bing needs to start their own data mining on a large scale like Google - if they are transparent about it, then its not evil, will work and I will switch to it. Though transparency is the key IMO.

It's not any more integrated than it is in Win7. Bing is simply the default search engine. The article is pretty useless.

However, things like Bing Maps and Live Mail are directly integrated into the operating system. THAT's the new stuff, that's what a good author would have focused on.

I will wait until it is released and I have the chance to play with it a bit at work. But I really doubt I will get it. I like what I have and it is working fine. As far as using Bing? Screw that. I prefer Google, Duckduckgo, any of the others.

And then I go to any Iphone or Android, and look at 3d Google Earth and think, why can't I do this on WinPho yet? WTF. Patiently waiting for WinPho 8.

Windows 8 will be different, just like Vista was different from XP.

And aside from the difficulties Vista used to have, those like me that stuck to it to see the Platform Update did not regret keeping it. Sure, it came years too late, but now it works just as good as 7, at least in my case. Actually, while I used to dual boot 7 with other systems, Vista has replaced them all now, and I will enjoy using it for a few more years, hopefully.

As far as Bing goes, it may be true that Bing isn't as great as Google, the most important thing for me is that the search results ARE actually better in most cases when I need to do a search. Google just spits out everything, from torrents to well-known malicious links/sites; Bing does not do that for me. Again, this is just my personal experience.

The Biggest problem with people is that they don't like changes, they get use to doing something in someway and they rather stick to it, even if the changes bring big time improvements. change is good and when they come with improvements even better.

I like to take the time to try new tech. bing is my default search engine since the beginning, I use Google when I want to make sure that what I searched is correct, I like the fact that I have other search options. I welcome competition in anything it just makes life better.

Why everyone considers Bing to be a success only if it replaces Google? I think the engine is quite successful. To be honest I stopped using Google due to their poor privacy policy and I rarely feel the need to use it.

Riva said,
Why everyone considers Bing to be a success only if it replaces Google? I think the engine is quite successful. To be honest I stopped using Google due to their poor privacy policy and I rarely feel the need to use it.

Bing will be a success when it starts breaking even, I think. Right now it's still in the investment phase.

I seem to get what I'm looking for more often with Google than Bing, but I gotta say Bing is looking more and more appealing.

sorry, i dont get the point of your article.
what's the news here with bing and win 8?!
bing is the search engine in win 8 (as it was before in win 7)....
what other Integration are you referring to?

on the other side: bing may be usefull in the us and maybe even better as Google. but here in Germany bing doesnt even come close to Google in terms of quality of search results...

I'm using Bing more and more lately. I keep having to search Bing when Google returns nothing but lower quality results on some search phrases. The thing that bugs me the most is they keep parading that "Penguin" update as a huge success, but for me, it sure isn't.

I personally love Bing (although there is the occasional site that's not on there), but I think that a lot of average (not tech-savvy) users don't use the search bar or anything like that in Internet Explorer or wherever, and instead just go to the search engine's website instead.

So if the average user uses Google, they'll still go to Google.com in Windows 8...

They need to start releasing new features internationally. Why the hell is the new metro design US only? This is just plain stupid. And the new social sidebar? Not to be found outside the US. I just can't understand why they're doing this.

Drossel said,
They need to start releasing new features internationally. Why the hell is the new metro design US only? This is just plain stupid. And the new social sidebar? Not to be found outside the US. I just can't understand why they're doing this.

The new design is available in the UK.

Bing doesn't allow me to filter results on Last Week, Last Month or other period. Therefore it fairly useless to me. If that is added I'd might switch from Google.

I am still saying Windows 8 and generally Metro is only good for touch interfaces not ordinary PC/Laptops, regardless of how sexy is the Bing it just not gonna work On it

S3P€hR said,
I am still saying Windows 8 and generally Metro is only good for touch interfaces not ordinary PC/Laptops, regardless of how sexy is the Bing it just not gonna work On it

Windows 8 is fine. It's the metro apps that need to improve. And they will.

Good article. Nice point about competition. I use both. I think Bing looks better overall, and I actually enjoy searching in Bing more than Google.

Considering that Bing is already the default search engine on Internet Explorer in Windows 7, this article doesn't make any sense. What changed? Nothing.

andrewbares said,
Considering that Bing is already the default search engine on Internet Explorer in Windows 7, this article doesn't make any sense. What changed? Nothing.

Well, in Windows 8, Internet Explorer and web search is more integrated into Windows, so you'll see it offered in more places. In Windows 7, if you don't use Internet Explorer, you won't have to have Bing as the default.

I don't like bing, based on the search results it give's me.

I do use bing once in a while to check them out, but find google gives me the results I'm looking for. Bing's too hit or miss with me.

I also think (depending on political powers in place) that Microsoft may be forced to allow 3rd party search integration option in windows 8. Bing will still be the default.

I used to use Bing, but they started to screw up the search results by changing the actual order of the results after you clicked a link and then hit the back button.

After idk 4 years of using Live Search/Bing, I actually switched to Google specifically because of that "feature" Microsoft added.

andrewbares said,
I used to use Bing, but they started to screw up the search results by changing the actual order of the results after you clicked a link and then hit the back button.

After idk 4 years of using Live Search/Bing, I actually switched to Google specifically because of that "feature" Microsoft added.

Are you sure? I've never seen that, and I can't reproduce that now. Never heard anything about that.

rfirth said,

Are you sure? I've never seen that, and I can't reproduce that now. Never heard anything about that.

Yep, that happens. They do that because they think that if you're returning to the search results page, then you didn't like the link you clicked on, so they try to offer other links instead, and put the link you were just at further down the list.

JaykeBird said,

Yep, that happens. They do that because they think that if you're returning to the search results page, then you didn't like the link you clicked on, so they try to offer other links instead, and put the link you were just at further down the list.

You're the first person to confirm this, glad it's not just my computer spazzing or something!

Google needs Bing to succeed more than Microsoft does. If Bing were to disappear, Google search instantly becomes regulated like nobody's business.

I am using bing as default browser for almost a year now.... the same or better results than google...
And who says windows8 will be a flop is like saying that 95 would flop because who already was an expert at 3.1 had a hard time transitioning... I know, i had it.
Also had it when went from 8DP to next iteration (when they removed the start button)
I use it in my workstation (lenovo 410 from work) and there is no chance i can think of coming back to 7.
It costs at first, but once you get control of it. Its the way of the future...
Its the way of the future...
its the way of the future
the way of the future
way of the future.
way .. future
future

Master of Earth said,
windows 8 is trying to do a lot of thing at once..this is just another pointless article.

and yet haters keep on saying that windows 8 limits multitasking

Agreed on all points. Considering that most of the results returned by either are very similar, it comes down to a matter of preference. Many still prefer Google because it's what they grew up on. It's like sticking with a regional Bell for your phone service regardless of how much better or cheaper the competition may or may not be.

I find that Bing will often give results Google doesn't and vice versa. Bing tends to include a few more entertainment, and social results than Google and Google tends to include a few more factual results.

Example of a random search for "Pretty Sneaky Sis" on Google gives the first five results as:
-two YouTube videos of the original Connect Four commercial,
-a question on Giantbomb.com as to where the phrase comes from
- a site for tee shirts
-an Onion.com parody

Same search on Bing:
-Answers.com about a band by that name
-a reference to the phrase on the Magic the Gathering boards at Wizards.com
-the same two YouTube videos
-a Retrojunk.com video of the same commercial

Again, many geeks will regale Google and claim that Bing isn't as good, but it's simply not true. The social search shows promise. Google snaked the way images were displayed on Bing by continuous scrolling as opposed to clicking page numbers. Bing has now changed how images are displayed again... large thumbnails on mouse hover.

All and all, they're about equal. I happen to prefer Bing as Google is full of evil. Mwuhahahah!!!!

lets windows 8 make a big break in OS first then we will talk about bing.
Still not sure if windows 8 will succeed or it could be another windows vista.

still1 said,
lets windows 8 make a big break in OS first then we will talk about bing.
Still not sure if windows 8 will succeed or it could be another windows vista.

But thanks to the low price of $40 to upgrade, it has a higher chance to succeed than we previously thought. Instead of buying just one for my desktop, I now consider buying a copy for all my family's computers (5)

Quite true, I'm expecting Windows 8 to be a flop like Vista. Even for $40, I'm not upgrading if I can't get rid of Metro, and get the start button back. Despite the authors LOVE of bing, I think its crap. Microsoft have gone for aesthetics (as the author points out) over function, and bing just does not cut it as a search engine.

kidjenius said,

But thanks to the low price of $40 to upgrade, it has a higher chance to succeed than we previously thought. Instead of buying just one for my desktop, I now consider buying a copy for all my family's computers (5)

Curious question upgrade as in install on top of your old OS right? Now I'm JUST wondering, as back in the days people would say that upgrades carry over problems, or there was a risk of BSOD... or something like that... is that STILL a big issue with our Modern 7/8 Windows OS's?

Izlude said,

Curious question upgrade as in install on top of your old OS right? Now I'm JUST wondering, as back in the days people would say that upgrades carry over problems, or there was a risk of BSOD... or something like that... is that STILL a big issue with our Modern 7/8 Windows OS's?

You can still do a clean install with an upgrade license.

But no, you shouldn't have a problem upgrading. People are just paranoid and just like starting with a clean slate.

dvb2000 said,
Quite true, I'm expecting Windows 8 to be a flop like Vista. Even for $40, I'm not upgrading if I can't get rid of Metro, and get the start button back. Despite the authors LOVE of bing, I think its crap. Microsoft have gone for aesthetics (as the author points out) over function, and bing just does not cut it as a search engine.
The Start "button" is useless. What wrong with Start? Are you saying that you never ever just hit the win key and type the app you want? What the hell is different with Windows 8's Start? And Vista did not do as terribly as think it did. I, for example, really enjoyed it over XP. And please list a few things that Google can do that Bing cannot. Go on... do it.

kidjenius said,

But thanks to the low price of $40 to upgrade, it has a higher chance to succeed than we previously thought. Instead of buying just one for my desktop, I now consider buying a copy for all my family's computers (5)

The true test isn't in updates, but whether the general public accept the new interface when they buy a PC. A high return rate will constitute a failure.