Microsoft has blind tested its Bing search engine against the giant of the field, Google, in a challenge it has called “Bing It On”.
With the results showing that more people picked Bing than Google results, Microsoft is triumphant and has embarked on a major drive to persuade internet users to make a switch.
The study was carried out by an independent company called Answers Research who asked participants to conduct 10 searches which were drawn from a list of 450 possibilities taken from the Google UK Zeitgeist 2012 and Google 2013 trends lists.
Those taking part were then asked to state which set of results they preferred or whether they felt both were equally as good.
The researchers found that 53 per cent preferred Bing, 34 per cent chose Google and 13 per cent felt neither was better than the other.
A posting on the blog that published the results said: “While many people still use Google, for many, it is simply a habit: Google is what they started using ten years ago and many people haven’t taken the time to see what else is out there.”
Whether or not it will make a difference, however, remains to be seen. Search marketing agency the Eword shows Google holds 89.49 per cent of the market with Bing a very distinct second with 6.11 per cent, so there is much to do for Microsoft.
But it is not insurmountable. The Pepsi Challenge managed to push Coke into second place in supermarkets in 1983 and it was so successful that it forced Coca-Cola to come up with the ill-fated reformulated, sweeter New Coke in a desperate attempt to claw itself back, leaving a bitter taste in fans of the drink and denting confidence in the brand.
Nevertheless, it can sometimes take more than a few stones for David to topple Goliath and today sales of all variants of Coca-Cola are worth £1.15bn while Pepsi and Pepsi Max are worth £352.2m so the war was eventually won by those in the red corner.
Still, if you want to try it for yourself, visit: www.bingiton.com/