In a rather strange product pitch, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has come out urging people to try Bing because it is much the same as Google. Rather than promote the advantages of using Bing or even push some kind of differentiation, Ballmer seems resigned to the fact that Google are the search engine default, and trying to stand out could be a commercial failure.
At the Web 2.0 Summit recently, Ballmer said “I would issue you all a kind of challenge to try any search you want on Bing and Google,” explaining that 70 percent of the time, results would be the same, 15 percent of the time, Bing will be better, and 15 percent of the time, Google will be better.
Well, if that’s not enough to make you switch search engines – I don’t know what could be.
However, while this statement was a strange thing to say for a company CEO, he does think that Bing are on the rise. Ballmer said that Bing are “getting stronger every day”, and noted how Bing’s share had risen from 7 percent to 15 percent, calling it “a nice rise.”
“We went from the number three player to the number two player,” Ballmer said, although Google are a long, long way out in front at the number one position. Ballmer also said that when Bing’s share is combined with Yahoo’s share (which is powered by Bing), it accounts for somewhere between 25 and 30 percent of the entire US search market.
Ballmer went on to say that the Microsoft and Yahoo alliance is important for “providing enough data to improve the product.”