blindsearch - nice idea
I tried it and 2 out of 3* I tried, the best result was Google; the other was Bing.
I think blind and or A/B testing is important, but it does miss a couple of things:
1) I use iGoogle as my start page, have Gmail for home and Google Apps. I have results ranking switched on. Simply testing a search engine does not compare the entire experience. It would have to be a much better search experience to make me even think about bothering to switching over the FireFox default search engine, and my carefully arranged iGoogle home page when my browser starts up. And my short experience today and when Bing was first released shows that it is not as good. I am old enough remembering telling people to use Alta-Vista.. until I first tried some new start up called Google.
2) Google as a brand is 'better' than Microsoft. MS playing hardball & inflicting Vista on me, has adversely affected the 'brand equity'. In the same way beer in branded beer bottles tastes better, the perception is Google is nicer. Subjective, and possibly wrong, but MS benefits from its brand name in things like re-branded OEM keyboards and mice, but suffers from it here. Certainly my perception is that MS don't do search well.
Interesting thought experiment; if MS implemented bing as a re-branded interface to Google, the search results would be the same, it would have been much cheaper to implement.. but people probably still would not use it.
* Search terms: codeshed, fanatics models, online analysis.
Searching for local terms such as 'Warriors' (an Auckland NZ based NRL team) fails as it search is not localised unlike my normal search. Not all of us live in the US.