Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bing Bites

If you've watched television for any length of time, you've probably seen infomercials. Usually appearing late at night, infomercials try to convince you that every day activities like using a blanketcooking eggs, or cleaning your bathroom are just hard. So hard, in fact, that you simply can't do them without some ridiculous product. I've long assumed that these commercials are on late at night because they're counting on you either being drunk or slap happy enough to be convinced that you need this stuff. But the ridiculousness of infomercials is apparent to nearly everyone.
So why is it then that Microsoft has taken the infomercial approach to advertising their new search engine, Bing?
One thing that is particularly striking in Bing commercials, other than "links are hard!", is that you never see what it actually does. Early Bing commercials called it a "decision engine." Which means what, exactly? They never show you how it works in the commercials. But one quick search on Bing shows you that your search results garner you, you guessed it, links.
After nearly 20 years of widespread internet use in private homes, are we really so confused by search engines that we need Microsoft to come along and try to dumb it down for us? Worse yet, do we really need our intelligence insulted like this? I think not.
Originally posted 10 May 2010

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