Bing is onto a thought I had years ago, but not quite complete. I bet if they finish that thought (my old one) they can take a huge chunk from Google because people want better results. Your Santa Cruz example is perfect because it shows that the searcher needs choices to narrow the search.
I like Bing's pretty background pictures, they totally distract me from focusing on how bad Bing's search results suck.
All this convo reminds me of the biggest SE Flops of the last few years... CUIL !
I wonder why they choose that awful design.. at bing.. i thought i was on a hacked page or spoof..
Microsoft is trying to position Bing as the "friendlier" and "easier to use" decision engine. "Pretty pictures" means "friendly" to them.
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I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Bing is way too far from Google, and they will never be better than google.
What sets bing.com apart from google is that they're spending millions in advertising, lately I've seen tv commercials for bing.com at least 30 times while I have never seen a google tv commercial if it exist which I doubt.
Google has earned the respect from all the webmaster community such as designers/developers/seo/domain/hostingcompanies plus the regular visitors who love their search and tools and that's one of the biggest advantages. They have many webmaster tools, one very importatn is the google PR.
ps. Google has become even something from our pop-culture, mentioned even in movies because it's like the website we can't live without. I use google at least 145 times a week, to look for services, information, data, questions, answers, images while I only use yahoo around 1 or 2 times a month.