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back to article Report: Microsoft tried and FAILED to offload Bing on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg reportedly declined to take Microsoft's Bing off the software vendor's hands last year. According to a New York Times report about Facebook and Microsoft's recent patent deal that once again underlined the strategic partnership between the two outfits, some Redmond execs were super-keen to offload its search …

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Given they paid $1Billion for instagram

for practically nothing that values Bing quite low..

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Re: Given they paid $1Billion for instagram

Perhaps Instagram was loosing LESS than Bing???

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Holmes

Re: Given they paid $1Billion for instagram

Perhaps is MZ's move to do some laundry to enrich enrich himself exclusively from a bogus deal.

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Trollface

If they really want better search results...

They could always ask Google to do it?

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Mushroom

Re: If they really want better search results...

And here we begin the slew of posts about how crap they think Bing is. Again, I'd like to see any remotely non-contrived search term that gives significantly different results in Bing than in Google. I personally like Bing better. I like the layout and I think the layout when returning image results is actually noticeably better to use. But I don't spam stories about the Google search engine going 'har har - isn't it crap'. Because it isn't. Both are pretty similar. The only noticeable difference I think, is Google is better at searching usenet groups, etc., for which I switch to it.

Oh yes, what's the other one - people outraged that Bing is the default search engine in IE, and ignoring that every blasted time I install Firefox, instead of just selecting my preferred search engine from a drop down, I have to go off in search of the Bing Add-on for it.

I know, I should probably wait for all the FUD to be posted before I complain about it. But it's so predictable it will be here soon enough.

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WTF?

Re: If they really want better search results...

But ... Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it: http://goo.gl/1qsuo

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Re: If they really want better search results...

@h4rm0ny - I'm in the Isle of Man but connect through the comapny proxy in Dublin. Google is fine with this and returns geographical search results based on my actual location. Bing just tells me I'm wrong and that I live in Dublin. Believe me, I've tried over and over again. Bing seems to be fine if you're in the US but, in my experience (and I set Bing as my default for a good six months after the last raft of changes) Bing is not much cop for local searches if you live anywhere it considers abnormal.

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Re: If they really want better search results...

@h4rm0ny

I disagree with you... I think I have given Bing a fair chance... at work a similar discussion started and we all agreed (team of 6) to use both Google and Bing for every search for a week... not once did Bing find something Google did not find first. It is true most of the results were similar but Google was either faster or sorted the results better (i.e. most useful links were displayed closer to the top)

For a second chance, we decided to use Bing for all searches Google seemed to struggle (you know? you search a few time but can't really find what you are looking for) and again, Bing never showed it could do the work better than Bing, not once did Bing find something Google couldn't.

As far as layout and whatnot goes that is a personal matter but I feel hard press to choose what car to buy just because I want it in "Cinnamon Red"... I love eye-candy and all things design but I wouldn't change to Bing just because of the layout (not that I personally like it anyway)

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Headmaster

Re: If they really want better search results...

"[...] every blasted time I install Firefox, instead of just selecting my preferred search engine from a drop down, I have to go off in search of the Bing Add-on for it.[...]"

Really? Bing is included by default in the list of search plug-ins, and has been since Firefox 4 was in beta (late 2010).

Unless you mean some 'orrible toolbar.

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Re: If they really want better search results...

"compile monodevelop windows'

The first hit on google is the link to the page which contains the instructions to compile the software on windows. This page is not anywhere in the first few pages of bing results. These crappy results caused me 10 minutes of grief last week :p

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Headmaster

Re: If they really want better search results...

"Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it: http://goo.gl/1qsuo"

That's a lie and if you're the poster from previously, you know this. Alternately, maybe you've just been told this and believe it without actually looking into it. Which is a lesser fault, but still a fault. The Register covered this last year:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/01/google_accuses_microsoft_of_copying_its_search

What happens is that MS collect data from what users click on to improve their search results if the option is enabled, just the same as Google do. A few Google employees realized that if they created entirely random strings that they arbitrarily linked to particular sites and used IE with preferences set to allow collection of user data, then Bing would learn to associate the random string with those sites. I.e. they deliberately set up a situation in which the only possible source of information was people using Google in their browser and submitting that information to MS, to then claim that MS was copying their results.

The Google version of the story is link at http://goo.gl/1qsuo and once you know the above and understand what is happening, that story seems horrendously two-faced and misleading.

But still, if a lie is repeated often enough, people pick it up and think there's something to it.

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Re: If they really want better search results...

Okay. You think Google is faster than Bing? Maybe you are a robot from the future who notices tiny millisecond load times. Maybe you are in China and there actually is a load time difference due to some proxy issue. Just for you I timed a Bing search in my browser. 0.64 seconds. I do not belive your brain works so fast that's an issue for you. You're really clutching at straws.

As to useful search results, I asked for a non-contrived search phrase that gave significantly different results. So go ahead. Show it. It would have been quickker than your anecdote about six people in your office all agreeing to do a two week trial. And man, if that's actually true, you work in a seriously boring office.

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Re: connect through the comapny proxy in Dublin

Well if Bing thinks your in Ireland because you're connecting from Ireland, and Google does not, that's presumably because Google has pinned down your location through other means such as gmail accounts, sneaky cookies, etc. Yes? You can't seriously be suggesting that Google magically knows that the proxy in Dublin is actually serving someone in the Isle of Man. So it must know from tracking your individual data. That's hardly an issue with the search engine. I'm actually happy with Bing not tracking me individually by my mail accounts, thanks. ;)

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Re: If they really want better search results...

"compile monodevelop windows"

Congratulations. You're the first person I've asked this of (and I've asked this many times) whose actually managed to come up with a search term for me that gives reasonably different results in Bing and isn't insanely niche. Okay, pretty niche, but legitimate. Thanks for actually taking on the challenge.

Btw, do you mind if I put you in touch with the other Bing critic further up whose objection is that Bing is a copy of Google's search results? ;)

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Stop

Re: If they really want better search results...

I feel I should point out that the top 5 results for my searches of "compile monodevelop windows" yield the following results (listing main website it links to):

Google:

1: monodevelop.com

2: monodevelop.com

3: monodevelop.com

4: monodevelop.com

5: Stackoverflow.com

Bing:

1: monodevelop.com

2: stackoverflow.com

3: monodevelop.com

4: stackoverflow.com

5: gmane.org (it's blog.gmane.org)

Now I don't know how your search engines are set up - this was done using my internet explorer browser, which I hardly ever use - and use even less for searching. Perhaps you got weird results because you actually use your google search, whilst your Bing is used for obscure searches which somehow corrupts your return on less obscure searches.

Whatever the cause, I'd say that Google and Bing return comparable results to "compile monodevelop windows" - I'd even say that a greater variation in websites is welcome.

(as an aside - I use duckduckgo for my searching. Results from that?

1: monodevelop.com

2: nabble.com

3: functional-variations.net

4: devx.com

5: howtogeek.com)

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Terminator

Re: If they really want better search results...

Re: "I'd like to see any remotely non-contrived search term that gives significantly different results in Bing than in Google. I personally like Bing better. I like the layout and I think the layout when returning image results is actually noticeably better to use."

Since you mentioned image results, I just tried dragging and dropping an image (from the desktop and/or another browser tab) onto Bing image search. Bing does not appear to support image-based search, which is a (to me, rather technically impressive) feature of Google image search I use on a near-daily basis to find higher resolutions of a given image.

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Trollface

Re: If they really want better search results...

I just used both Bing and Google to look up two search phrases:

Bing gives crap results

Google gives crap results

The results are quite different, actually. Which one provides more *relevant* results depends on what you're looking for, I guess. Interestingly, this very article is sixth in Google rankings but does not appear at all on the first page of Bing results. What that means, I have no idea.

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FAIL

Re: If they really want better search results...

LOL... so your defence for Bing is that is actually is slower but people wouldn't notice and that it works as well as Google if you are in the USA and only input "non-contrived" search phrases...

LOL... yes I am switching right now!

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Re: If they really want better search results...

@h4rm0ny: I think you missed the joke. The point is that Google does not index Facebook. Bing doesn't have anything to do with that. :)

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Re: If they really want better search results...

I was a Google fan from the beginning. I have also decided that I don't trust them or their business model of turning the users' data and identity into their bitch or telling us we can opt out for things like having my router used for location services by changing the SID...after claiming that StreetView Wi-Fi data slurp was "just one engineer." Yeah. Not to mention the ads served up on GoogleDocs alongside the company email for one of the startups I work with. I don't trust Google.

I forced myself to start using Bing and don't miss Google. I like the picture of the day on Bing as well. Search results are good in that I find everything I am looking for every time. I have my Bing settings to USA until I see regional feature parity, and this gets tested when I use privacy mode (IE) or incognito (Chrome) since it defaults back to the local country. The Microsoft team outside the USA has done a heck of a lot, but it still misses the boat every once in a while. I can think of two instances in the last four months...not bad at all.

Since I have been using it, I have also gotten to see how MUCH better Bing has gotten. I doubt any of the downvoters that have hounded you have seen that. I prefer the presentation of Bing maps (Seadragon tech,) but Google's crowdsourcing has filled its maps with business and locational data. That's hard to beat.

I guess the long and short of all this is that I am glad I have an easy alternative.

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Re: If they really want better search results...

"LOL... so your defence for Bing is that is actually is slower but people wouldn't notice and that it works as well as Google if you are in the USA and only input "non-contrived" search phrases..."

No. My point was very clearly stated. That a search result time of 0.64 seconds is below any human-discernible threshold for being held up. Quite honestly, if Google returns results in 0.54 seconds, it's irrelevant. And I don't have to persuade you that you should use Bing. I'm just dismayed by the massive bias or astro-turfing that goes on against it. I got six downvotes for a purely factual rebuttal of an easily proven wrong claim about Bing. Says it all about bias.

As does complaining that Bing is slower than Google when results are about half a second. You can't expect anyone to believe that holds you up. Ergo - bias.

And who said anything about the USA? I'm in Europe.

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FAIL

1. NYT publishes article hating on Apple-competitor

2. Anonymous source.

3. Zero documentation

o rly?

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WTF?

Apple? What's the relation to Apple?

Calm down, fanboy o_0

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Re: Apple? What's the relation to Apple?

Run a 3 week search on the NYT for "Google" or "Microsoft" or even "Sony". Or especially "Nokia".

If a story can be spun to reflect negatively on anyone competing directly with Apple in any field, it will be so spun. By the same token, Jobs, Cook and Ive are presented as the Holy Trinity.

It's just the way things are. Murdoch lies to Leveson, the Daily Mail hates women, the New York Times is a branch of the Apple marketing department.

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JC_
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Thumb Up

You're Both Right...

ratfox is right - the article never mentions Apple; dogged is right that the 'Bits' blog of the NYT has its metaphorical tongue right up Apple's arse.

For example, this Bits review for a pair of headphones assured readers that the 3.5mm headphone jack they came with is "ready for iProducts ", as if every other tech company has yet to implement this advanced technology... Another post refers to the Flashback trojan as a "Windows-style computer virus"...

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NYT lost relevancy about 10 years ago

not much more than a platform for loonies.

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JC_
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Re: NYT lost relevancy about 10 years ago

That's utter crap. The NYT is as it ever was: the most iconic and respected newspaper in the world. No other paper comes close to the depth & reach of its journalism.

On the other hand, some of the blogs it hosts (like 'Bits') are rubbish and I wouldn't miss them any more than I'd miss the fashion section if it disappeared, too.

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You forgot something

It is reported by NY times, not some teenagers anonymous blog.

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JC_
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Re: NYT lost relevancy about 10 years ago

To all my down-voters (5 so far, close to a personal best!): which newspaper surpasses the NYT for depth & reach of journalism?

The Times (of London), Washington Post, the WSJ? None of these come close, IMHO, so which do you think is top of the pile?

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Re: NYT lost relevancy about 10 years ago

The Economist.

I read both the NYT and the Economist. The Economist has a wider perspective and is less parochial than the NYT's occasionally very narrow focus on East Coast US politics.

And the Economist doesn't have a fashion section. (And yes, it is a newspaper, albeit a weekly)

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JC_
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Re: NYT lost relevancy about 10 years ago

I like the Economist, too, but it's a news weekly, which is rather different from a daily paper. It certainly doesn't cover as many subjects or news as the NYT does, though the special reports are great for depth.

BTW, the Economist sadly has its own fashion section and embarrassing blogs, too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: NYT lost relevancy about 10 years ago

I'd put Süddeutche Zeitung ahead of NYT...

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JC_
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@Tony Gregory

Can't agree or disagree with you, ich spreche kein Deutsch! But if Press Europ is right, then Süddeutche Zeitung is somewhat similar to the Guardian, which gets a thumbs-up from me.

My down-voters clearly don't like the NYT, but can't actually name a superior newspaper. Maybe they're like Sarah Palin and can't actually name any paper... ;)

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Mushroom

Re: NYT lost relevancy about 10 years ago

Honestly, I think the National Inquirer has more journalistic integrity that NYT, because they are equal opportunity offenders and not a bunch of partisan hacks.

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misadventure

Microsoft: "We made this thing to show Google that they're not all that, but nobody wants to use it and it loses money. Do you want to buy it?"

FB: "Er, no."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: misadventure

Yes, the whole point is that it really wasn't necessary or wanted. Even Yahoo is largely forgotten.

On the other hand, do we approve of vast all-powerful monopolies?

Hey ho... can't win, I suppose.

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Anonymous Coward

So, uhm. Why?

That is, wouldn't that be a bit of a problem for yahoo!, and/or their relationship with redmond?

bing really never made much sense to me except in that oh-so-redmondian also-ran fashion -- really now, what were they trying to do there, become a competitor to google so that they might crush them in the same way they crushed so many others?

So it's not really a surprise that now that they have a search engine, they don't know what to do with it. But the whole still doesn't make sense to me. What, really, is their deal with facebook, and what, really, are they planning with their yahoo! deal? Why make that offer? Were they planning to dump yahoo! too, or was it just a negotiating ploy to be shot down by chief chair-thrower should it get too close to reality?

Looks like this calls for some analysis.

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FAIL

Translated by Bing

Perhaps if Book of Faces alliance with Google had searched instead of Bong! then transubstantiation of alien tongue messages better would made. (Translated by Bing)

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Anonymous Coward

So...

Facebook use Bing, to the tune of a lot of millions of $.

Anonymous sources say that Facebook don't want to buy Bing, there may well be good business reasons for this that aren't the "bingz a load of shite". Possibly there is the issue that Bing runs on Windows and Facebook is a linux house, they probably wouldn't have the skills to support a non-core OS properly. However we don't really know if it was actually offered to them, at all.

So?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

>there is the issue that Bing runs on Windows

Windows isn't up to the CDN and load balancing side, Bing uses Linux for this. Horses for courses and all that....

http://searchdns.netcraft.com/?host=bing.com&x=0&y=0 and click though....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

More likely MS uses a load balancer appliance which is running linux.

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Poor Chandler

Why does everyone hate poor Chandler? I don't get it, even Facebook doesn't want him. Better call Rachel...

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Paris Hilton

Really??

I'm not convinced that this story is true. Bing is the special child of Balmer. I don't believe he would ever sell it. How could Microsoft take on Google without a search and ads business? No, it's a stupid notion.

The truth I reckon lies more in a similar story. Something along the lines of a Bing/Facebook merger, with Microsoft retaining a massive stake in the combined entity. Or a merger of the search and ads platforms of the two, like the Yahoo deal. Not a sale of Bing, sanctioned by the man at the top.

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There was no metion of money, but I'd guess Microsoft priced it too low; if they'd told Zuck he could have it for $50 Billion he'd have snapped it up.

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Anonymous Coward

It's a shame...

That bing sucks so much and i'm forced into using the bing maps app on my playbook. Although the birds-eye views are nice.

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I've tried Bing numerous times

But it sucks, Google is much better. You'd have thought a company the size of Microsoft could do a better job frankly, but I guess its not just about how much money you throw at something. No one will ever pay a good price for Bing.

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Gimp

Hot air

Aside from investment wonks who cares about the hot air way up there?

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Devil

How quicklyy we forget...

...the one minute and seconds seconds that weirded out the entire technology world and sent people running and screaming from Bing. No doubt even our much beloved Aspergerger poster boy "The Zuck" was further mentally/emotionally harmed by it. I still strongly believe that Ballmer had alot to do with this fiasco as it's about as weird as he is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaFY7hVxjek

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WTF?

Money pit

Who would want a $2B/yr money pit? Really, who?

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Stop

Windows Update and Bing Desktop

Like the fact Windows Update tried to push Bing Desktop. There's a anti trust prosecution there somewhere.

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