Bing, the Microsoft 'decision engine' (search engine), has thrown down a challenge to the UK.

Apparently their research shows that here in Blighty we use Google as our search engine of choice purely through habit and we are less likely than other countries to try something new.

Step forward BingItOn -- think the Pepsi challenge, but on search.

Microsoft want you to visit and enter five of your typical searches. The site will show results from Google and Bing; you decide which you prefer.

They claim that in a study of 1,000 people in the UK, 53% preferred the Bing results, 41% Google, and the reset were on the fence.

Brian Kealy, head of search for Microsoft UK said:

We've made huge strides with Bing in recent years and Bing is a genuine challenger to just 'Googling' it.

Oddly BingItOn didn't work too well for me using the Chrome browser! Look at the screen shot below and note the missing suggestions under the search bar. Also the first search term worked; the second and all subsequent terms returned the same results as the first. I bet that gets fixed quickly!

Blue area shows missing data using the Chrome browser

Blue area shows missing data using the Chrome browser

I had to revert to FireFox to actually test it.

My own search terms are below, so rather than be influenced you might want to <a href="" target="_blank">try BingItOn for yourself</a> first and come back.

My own results

I entered five random searches:

  • how many people live in scotland
  • images of a lynx
  • define oenophilia
  • convert 160g to oz
  • find me a hotel in Cardiff

Two of the searches were relatively broad (the image and the hotel) but the others I wanted specific answers. For me, in all cases Bing gave me very generic results. Basically a list of pages to visit, whereas Google actually answered the questions directly.

My finally score: I preferred Google in four of the five and one was undecided.

Perhaps I am too used to Google and know how to ask for a good search result in Google speak!

How did you get on? Share your results in the comments below so we can all see them. I'm interested in the findings.

site by DAJ