Summary: Microsoft’s engine may be akin to commercial propaganda; IE6 users allegedly forced to use it anyway
Microsoft loves changing history even if Wikipedia intervention becomes necessary. Microsoft’s image is worth money, so Microsoft is willing to pay people to edit Wikipedia, which is precisely what it does.
As we showed before, Microsoft’s ‘new’ engine is biased by design and we already know that Microsoft is changing search results in order to promote the company’s own perspective. It’s not as complicated to achieve as it may seem given that only commonly searched-for phrases in technology need to be policed (tweaked) by Microsoft or its massive public relations department (Waggener Edstrom).
But rather than a search engine or even a “decision engine”, Bing also appears to be a spin engine, in that it provides partisan answers to controversial topics, such as Steve Ballmer’s propensity to throw chairs to blow off stress. At a friend’s suggestion, I typed the following phrases (without quotes) into both Google.com and Bing.com. The results are very telling. Be sure to look at the phrase completion options that you are offered as you type.
“ballmer throws chair”
“bill gates steals”
The important thing here is not whether Bill Gates does, in fact, steal, and I am not here to make ad hominem attacks on the world’s richest man. The point is how Microsoft deals with criticism. With spin. As opposed to Google, which just repeats much of the criticism of it.
Contrast that with phrases that are negative for Google, such as “Google is evil.” Typing “Google is e” yields no suggestions. But typing in “Google is” yield results which are both positive and negative for Google as a company:
“Google is your friend”
“Google is broken”
“Google is skynet”
“Google is making us stupid”
“Google is a number”
“Google is paying to work from home”
“Google is always right”
“Google is taking over the world”
“Google is watching you”
“Google is paying”
More to the point is the first phrase. Microsoft’s first suggestions all are aimed at diverting attention away from one of its keenest competition, Free Open Source Software, a competitor which, every year in its official annual 10k SEC-mandated warning to investors, Microsoft lists as a threat to its profitability.
Clearly, Bing is not Google, and is not going to overtake Google anytime use, nor offer information which, on the whole, is as useful to its users as Google search results.
By the way, the most concise summary of why Google is beating Microsoft can be seen by typing this phrase into your browser: Bingisnotgoogle.com. Google is always one step ahead of Redmond.
What could possibly be worse than an Orwellian ‘search’ engines like Microsoft’s? Well, how about having it shoved down people’s throats?
Is Microsoft forcing Bing on IE6 users?
We’re getting word that a number of Internet Explorer 6 users are loading up their browsers to discover that the default search engine, which they had set as Google, has been changed to Bing. What’s more, when they try to change it back they’re being blocked from doing so thanks to a Microsoft Live Search message that reads: “Oops This isn’t the page that you wanted”.
Neelie Kroes, are you paying attention? █
* Later on they excused the poor quality and hyped it up by renaming it “decisions engine”.