B[r]ing it on, Google! Microsoft is Back!

People who know me know that I am the last person on earth to be a Microsoft fan. I have my reasons to be a tough critic of the Redmond company, but something that I did not expect has happened recently and giving well-deserved credit to them is due. The name is Bing and it launched today. It’s absolutely AWESOME! I won’t bore you with a description of what Bing is. You most probably already know, but what you are about to find (on Bing, not on this blog :) ) is a truly new way to experience Web. It’s not about just a search engine, anymore, it’s the entire decision-making experience that matters.

Microsoft folks are right-on in their marketing: Bing is NOT a search engine, it’s a “decision engine”. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!

Stan Schroeder of Mashable wrote this morning: “Bing Opens Up. It’s Live.com, Wrapped In a Prettier Box.” Sorry Stan, I don’t know why you would say such thing, but I have to respectively disagree and say: “Bing could not be further from live.com or anything that existed before it, for that matter”. It is NOT just a wrap around an old engine. The engine is new and fantastic!

Quick test: try searching for “usb flash 64GB” in google.com (just the straight search box, not any subsite) and then on bing.com (same here: main search box, not the shopping section) and just compare the results. Bing understands what I want to see and gives me very nice tools to quickly narrow-down results. Google is as narrow-minded as it was 10 years ago, it’s just that world is not the same as it was 10 years ago.

The launch of Bing is extremely exciting because we are going to finally see some real competition in the area of global IT that matters probably the most: access to information.

I hope Google will respond with something equally impressive.

P.S. Since the two were announced together and are often compared to each other, we can’t help mentioning Google Wave.

So, about Wave: it’s a wonderful piece of engineering and a great example of out-of-the-box thinking. However, for an average consumer it has no value, yet. And as much as we’d like to think so, majority of earth population is not constituted by geeks :) It is also very community-based (vs. search engines which are personal tools). In social tools, it’s never just about the technology and a complex overly “intelligent” technology can sometimes be a drawback rather than benefit. Social tools are about communities. If the communities see no value – even the most brilliant technology will just go unnoticed. Google has been very unsuccessful in raising communities. Poor adoption of Knol and Orcut are good examples, to name a few.

So Wave? Maybe. But Bing – oh yeah!