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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Farhad Manjoo spends a week with Bing

May 21, 2012

Like Mahdi Yusuf’s month-long foray using DuckDuckGo Farhad Manjoo spends a week with Bing. His first impressions were good:

The new Bing is like the old Google—your results are presented on a clean, uncluttered page consisting of a lot of links and a few unobtrusive ads.

But, like so many others, he realized how trapped in Google’s products he’d become:

The most striking thing about switching to Bing was how enmeshed I remained in the Google universe. During my week with Bing, I found myself reaching for lots of Google products beyond its Web search engine—Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar, Google Books, Google Scholar, Chrome, Picasa, and probably a few others I’m forgetting.

A few things strike me about these attempts to switch away from Google. First, good on Google for realizing that search wasn’t enough to “keep” people around. Manjoo himself said it was extremely simple to switch from one search engine to the next. Google building other applications, that you can use for free, really does mean you’re more likely to stick with Google search. Second, is that I think it stinks that when something is made well that the proceeding versions of it must get more and more obtrusive for it to be lucrative.

Google’s search results have gotten better and better and better over the last decade plus. But arguably the way they display those results has, in some ways, gotten worse.