Bing! Where Microsoft

Published: June 3rd, 2009

A scheduling conflict prevented me from attending an invite-onlyclose-up look at Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine, which was beingheld last night at the Marvin restaurant in Toronto. So I decided totake a close-up look of my own.

Bing is obviously a consumer product, and perhaps not that relevantfor IT managers, but given the amount of product information that issearched online, I thought it might be interesting to look up a fewcommon technologies and services and see where Microsoft’s own waressat in the results. I then compared these terms with the results onGoogle. Given Microsoft is billing Bing as a “decision engine,” I thinkit’s worthwhile to see how it helps users make up their minds.

Bear in mind that Bing is still in the early stages and no doubt thealgorithms will be refined, but here’s a sample of what I saw:

Virtualization: A Microsoft page called“Virtualization: How far will it take you?” which details the company’sproducts comes up second, right after the Wikipedia definition. VMwareshows up fifth, right after Microsoft partners Dell and Novell. OnGoogle, Microsoft’s page comes well after VMware.

ERP: A sponsored link from Microsoft promotingDynamics ERP comes up first. On Google the sponsored link comes fromNetSuite. Otherwise the product doesn’t appear anywhere on the firstpage of results in either search engine.

Business software: A sponsored link from Microsoftpromoting Dynamics CRM comes up before Netsuite, but there’s no otherlink to the Microsoft site anywhere on the first page of results. OnGoogle, Netsuite has the sponsored link and Microsoft comes up fourthin the regular results.

Systems management: Microsoft comes up second afterWikipedia, first with an MSDN page, then third with a product page. OnGoogle, Microsoft comes up third.

SQL: Microsoft has a sponsored link first, thenappears third in the results. On Google, Microsoft’s page appearsfourth, after some Wikipedia and some training and standardsorganizations.

Software plus services: Microsoft’s product pagecomes up first, right after a sponsored link from another vendor. OnGoogle, Microsoft comes up second, after Wikipedia.

Business intelligence: Microsoft comes up ninth, after Cognos, SAS and a couple of other heavyweights. On Google, Microsoft actually appears fourth.

Data security: Microsoft does not appear on thefirst page of results at all. On Google, Microsoft does not appear onthe first page of results at all.

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