Open Ballot: Microsoft/News Corp deal - would you switch to Bing?

TuxRadar

Word has it that Microsoft is in talks with News Corp to discuss paying the publisher to de-index its websites from Google. With Redmond struggling to get a major foothold in the search market, the company is seeking to have content exclusively indexed on Bing - content from Rupert Murdoch's vast media empire (encompassing The Sun, The Times, FOX News, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal...).

Now, imagine that this deal goes ahead. Technically, hypothetically, Bing would be able to turn up search results that Google couldn't. Would you switch to Bing? Would you stay with Google? What matters more: the number of search results you can get, or the company operating the search engine? Let us know and we'll discuss the results in our podcast.

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Your comments

Hmm.... Depends...

It all depends on how many sites do deals with Microsoft, and whether those sites have pay-walls or not.

Usually when I'm doing a news search I'm after details of one story I've heard a bit about. I'm not going to pay to view that one story. So it may be on Bing and searchable, but if I can't view it then what's the point of searching there?!

What a surprise.

One megalomaniac sucking another one off to get one over the competition. Just as well they're two of my least favourite companies, then. They won't be missed!

Sounds fishy

I mean, would the amount Microsoft would pay be worth the "revenue" it would receive by people using Bing?

I use a series of RSS feeds, not a search engine, for my news.

They should concentrate on making it a better search engine. Right now their image search engine features is awesome! It blows Google's image search out of the water in my opinion.

Instead of paying for it, they need to work on making a compelling reason for News Corp to want to do it!

No!

Its that simple.

No way.

I tried using Bing a few weeks ago, telling myself to give it 5 days for a fair eval. The search results were so bad I lasted less than a day.

I'll stick with Google. There may not be as many results, but I'm still more likely to find what I'm looking for.

-mS

No, but...

.. the benefit, if it does go ahead, plus the paywalls, is I won't have to endure Ruperts propaganga comics coming up in my search results anymore :)

Stick with Google

If anything, it would reinforce my use of Google. News Corp material filtered out, for free, so you don't have to!

More generally... if Microsoft entered into similar deals with other organisations, I still wouldn't be tempted to use Bing, as I would prefer to receive content based on its relevance, not based on who does deals with who.

nope.

I wouldn't be switching but that's mostly b/c I get all my news from RSS (NYT & BBC for normal news). the only time i ever used google news was to switch my user agent and tag on the query parameter to view a full WSJ articles for free ;) i'll just replace WSJ w/someone else now if i see anything worth reading from there...

No

I will decline from using Bing. In the case of News Corp, I would be happier if Google took them out of the running. They're a waste of space and effort. They're on the verge of not being considered a creditable source anymore, to be honest - the stigma that comes with their content is insurmountable.

I think News Corp overestimates how much people care about their crappy writing. When I look for news, I tend to just search for the story in question - if a soruce isn't there, they don't get considered. There are a hell of a lot of other sources to read news from.

I've used Bing a few times. It's not very good. It comes up with all kinds of odd suggestions for what I'm searching for. I vastly prefer Google.

No

.

I'm a slave to google

Tough call if it's meant to be on the basis of who's more evil as they're both just as bad. On the basis of functionality - I'm a slave to google.

How can they stop google from searching some websites though?

Looks to me like MS is sinking a lot of money into bing. Might turn out to be pointless.

No

Deal do not involve site witch i visit and i almost don't use google news. I am ok until bbc, tuxradar, linux.com etc., don't involed in this.

And what so good about Bing? Need to tray...

Nope

At the risk of repeating what anyone else has said, I really don't think we'd be missing anything.

Not full time

I always consider other engines if Google doesn't give me what I want, but Google is the best all rounder and that probably won't change.

Perhaps more interestingly, Bing runs the risk of being seen as a paid content only search engine and ironically, the liklihood of this would only increase with the success of this plan of attracting paid for content providers.

On a broader level none of this matters now the BBC have said they won't charge. They were always the pivot all the rest rests on and they've pushed the "Free" into the ascendant.

No

i don't need stuff of their website anyway... infact it could be a good thing so that when i search for something i don't get their rubbish!

Deja vu ...

If we recall the early days of the internet, when we had alta vista, yahoo, lycos and all the others fighting to be "web search king of the hill" we, as users had to find better ways of finding information across this nonsense. That's when metacrawler, copernic and other meta search engines allowing us to look for information without bothering about who indexes it but allowing us to just get to it. Because that's what it's all about reaching the information. isn't it?

I don't care who indexes what. I just want to find what i'm looking for! When google arrived things became much simpler. Now Microsoft is trying to screw everything up again (from a users perspective that is).

I think if this happens history will repeat itself and meta crawlers will spring up again.

Not interested in mentioned news sites

I don't care about mentioned sites. Microsoft can totally remove them from Internet and I won't notice this :D

Oh god no!!!

I won't be able to find Fox news on Google anymore? LOL. Sounds like a marriage made in hell to me. Shitty news conglomerate makes deal with evil software empire. What's next, Fox news only available on Internet Explorer, good riddance.

If you are the kind of person who uses Windows and searches on Bing and reads Fox news, then you and I probably have nothing to talk about. Some people demand freedom and respect, and others are willing to drink at the corporate fountain whenever they are giving the option.

I don't like the way that Microsoft is trying to draw lines in the sand, but that is not a surprise to anybody who knows the true face of Microsoft.

If this happens and people know about it and still decide to use Bing, then what is left to say, obviously they don't care that their freedom to access the news has be restricted. There are two kinds of people in the world, those who care about freedom, and those who don't.

Who needs realfact?

Who needs realfact when you can get Microsoft-approved, NewsCorp-supplied goodfact? Aligning my data inputs with the agenda of multimegacorps means life becomes easier, simpler, happier! Plus, the only blipverts I will see are theirs, so my desires and purchases will inevitably support the entities that make me happy.

It's a win all around! Ka-Bing!

No, no, no. NOT switching to

No, no, no. NOT switching to a Microsoft system.

Not for those sites

If I thought any of those sites had relevant info I'd go straight to the site. Pretty rare I'd use a search engine to look at news, but I suppose there is a possibility I'd be missing out on a useful article if I were to ever complete my thesis on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here

Microsoft link to Murdoch

As I wouldn't touch anything Murdoch in the first place then, for Microsoft to be linking up with News Corp., just gives me one more reason not to touch them, even with the largest barge pole around!

There are plenty of alternatives to these sources so, who cares what they do.

Yuk

Hopefully it won't benefit Microsoft that much, else they may start indexing things we do care about.

I guess the answer is No then

Did you expect anything different?

No

I don't search for news much, so I wouldn't notice the difference. Right now, Google is enough for me. Besides, though it may sound silly, I don't like the name "Bing" :D

Why would they?

What is in it for News Corp? They may get some cash, but they stand to lose a lot of hits to their sites.

News are screwed

News are screwed anyway so what ever, news under Bing, Yahoo, Google, this is not helping newspapers to make money.

"Installed by default"

I won't personally be at all bothered by this. We are creatures of habit and loads of people already use, like and understand Google search.
Unless Bing has something that no-one else has (like a free packet of crisps for every search) I can't see people actively moving to Bing.
Hovever, I've noticed that IE8 automatically sets the search engine to Bing after an update. I imagine most users won't notice this and suddenly be using it. "Installed by default" - MS's favourite tactic.

Nope

It's NEWS corp. all they have is crappy news in the states so no way!

No thanks. I'll be sticking with Google.

Frankly, I'm appalled that you even have to ask.

If News Corp accepts this deal then I don't want any of their content anyway. What validity can any journalistic agency have when they openly accept bribes?

And if Microsoft has so little faith in their product that they have to do this, why should I have any?

Oh cheesus

Microsoft and News Corp, or Google? The phrase "Morton's Fork" springs to mind...

Absolutely NOT!

I've tried Microsoft Bing and I'll stick with the original (Crosby). For search, Google has provided me with the most relevant results -- perhaps I know how to phrase my searches better there.

No

When I first heard this, the next time I did a Google search ( something about tweaking emacs ), I did the same search on Bing to compare. Google seemed to fair a bit better at finding my answer.

I don't think that News Corps not being indexed will hurt Google searches much. Most of the news from any source is just a clone of AP and Reuters, so you only miss the parts specific to News Corps and I do not believe that is generally accessed via Google.

I am however generally worried about this "deindexing" process. Murdock has been complaining for a while about Google for a while and Google has responded by telling him that all he has to do is put a "robots.txt" on his site, and he is consistently blown this off. I'm sure MS doing this will not satisfy him. So what is MS going to do? Poison Googles indexes by putting up lots of fake web sites?
Seems to me about the only thing that they can do.

I also wonder if this may have legal ( read antitrust ) implications for Microsoft.

Mostly though, I worry about the kind of precedent this is setting in terms of the partitionign fo the web. I can't see all the implications of this, but it gives me a bad feeling on the visceral level. Hopefully this fails quickly and loudly.

News Corp. Sucks

I wouldn't switch to Bing... no effin way.

In fact it would be a good reason to stick with Google, Rupert Murdoch runs some of the vilest media outlets the world has to offer. Won't out-of-touch dinosaurs like him just hurry up and die?

not only no, but HELL NO

I'm not a fan of Microsoft in any way, shape or form. For years I've had MSN blocked (robots.txt) from indexing any of my sites. Why? Because I've found that shoppers that come from MSN, and I presume Bing, are more difficult to serve. There are more pre-sale questions, more returns, more follow up calls. In my opinion, it reflects the diminished agregate intellect of someone coerced by virtue of having MSN, now Bing, as the default engine and being to stupid to change it.

So, NO. I will not pay for news. Period. Full stop.

And, as another poster has noted, I read news via RSS feed anyway.

No

I'll never use Bing. I don't approve of Microsoft's tactics and thus prefer not to use their software.

I visit our national news site via a bookmark, not using search. But if they go ahead with this deal I'll never visit their site again because it means they support Microsoft's tactics too.

No

On both ethical and practical grounds:

1. I stopped reading The Times after it changed from being a right-of-centre intelligent middle class newspaper to being a far-right tabloid stretched to broadsheet proportions. The de-indexing of it's news websites will, in fact, refine my search results further.

2. I switched from altavista search to google search years ago on the basis of word of mouth and impressive search results. Microsoft use their force and might to muscle in with an inferior product (to be confirmed) to the detriment of consumers. Ethically, I feel a complete aversion to microsoft and newscorp.

Wing Flapper

Absolutely Not.

Bing? Legitimate? No.

I intern at a PC repair shop. When we are updating our clients machines (windows and its abortion of a browser IE6, which they also forced in everyones face) we consistently end up on bing, not out of choice, completely against our will despite our efforts to actively avoid it. It's spammy, it's noisy, we arn't interested in using it. Every time we update we have to go messing around with obfuscated default settings to get Bing to screw off.

Bing isn't getting where it is on it's own merits. It's getting where it is because Microsoft is forcing it down peoples throats. When are we going to stop legitimizing this crap?

Sniff... Sniff....

Is that another anti-competitive lawsuit against Microsoft I can smell?

No, no amount of bribes would make Bing a better search engine.

Simply put, Bing doesn't work nearly as well as Google does, and Bing having more news wouldn't change that for me at all.

A resounding NO.

Haha. My captcha is "ficklest organization".

No.

Not through hatred of microsoft but mainly due to the fact that I don't rely on newscorp for my news.
I do however believe that all search sites should have indexed content of all sites and the user not the supplier should decide what search engine they want to use, not which one they are forced to use.

no

not really attached to Google, but; have no interest in Bing it does not seem to turn up better results worse actually. So why switch. Newscorp and Fox only indexing with Bing would not really affect me. I rarely if ever look for their brand of news. Like some one else said I too get my news via RSS feeds and friends.

No

I am not attached to Google but every time I have tried to use Bing I get garbage for results. The type of results that the TV commercials for Bing try to convey that the other search engine(s) as having. Maybe in time this will change.

"If you want to know about Bing, Google it."

Who would want to read Murdoch's media?

No because I do not want to read these newspapers. The more interesting question would be what happens if i.e. wikipedia or other high quality content site start doing the same thing?

No.

For one, i've tried Bing and it seems to be "filtered". It gives me very rubbish results for open-source and linux-related stuff. It also seems that when you enter a search term like: "Microsoft Sucks", you don't get the sort of results you might expect.

For two, I don't care about News Corp's properties for the most part. Sure the WSJ is a decent newspaper, but Fox News is the least trustworthy news source in the world, the NY Post is essentially a tabloid paper and so is The Times from what i've heard and News Corp owns Fox Broadcasting company who cancelled many, many great TV shows.

Now if Rupert Murdoch and News Corp somehow convinced CNN and the New York Times and the AP and Time Inc and essentially every major news source to follow suit, then that *MAY* convince me to partially use Bing, but I don't forsee that happening since i'm sure most of the other news sources think: "Go ahead, de-list yourselves from Google and quickly fall into more PR hell, we'd be happy to pick up the traffic you're not getting." and the other news sources will go about still being on Google.

Microsoft monopolizes again

If we all switch to Bing Microsoft would have a huge monopoly again, but this time on the Internet. If we just keep on using google search the webpages will be re-indexed because overwise nobody would look at them.

A difference perspective?

Would you switch to Google if News Corps smut and propaganda was removed from its search results?

In answer to the original question though I would most definately NOT move to Bing. For a starters its results are worse, some of its features require silverlight and don't work with moonlight and the results feel as though they've been molested by Steve Ballmer himself.

On top of that I firmly believe that if News Corp was "accidentally" wiped from existence the world would be a much better place, children would smile, birds would sing and MikeOS would finally hit the mainstream popularity it deserves.

No - why?

Besides the fact that I would never read Murdoch's propaganda websites anyway, I also have to admit that I never really search for news via a search engine. My everyday student life is happy over the procrastination it gets from looking through the websites of the BBC, the Guardian, Spiegel and Sueddeutsche.

This is a typical tactic for MS - using their incredible money reserves to destroy a competitor. Just in this case I do not think it works. It is somehow ironic that MS is the underdog in the internet world and is confronted with an enemy who uses similar tactics to itself: paying the browser companies (or foundations) to use it as a default. Not sure if the European Commission would like it if MS did the same.

Bing is good in the sense that it provides an alternative to the all-too-mighty Google. Monopolies are never good, especially on information. But this way of doing it is just wrong! Use your money to make it better than Google!

NO

that is just out of order why are they such idiots that's just a cheap shot.

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