Cloud Computing: Google, Microsoft Bing Locked in Apparent Search Engine Copycat War

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-03-17 Print this article Print
Google Instant

Google Instant

Microsoft declined to confirm this for eWEEK, but Winrumors said March 6 that Microsoft is planning to integrate instant search results that render results as users type them into the next version of its Bing search engine. Such a move may be welcomed by Bing users, but it will be derided by Google, if only in private, after the company launched Google Instant last September. See Google Instant at work here. One wonders what the Bing implementation, if real, will look like.
When Google Principal Engineer Matt Cutts appearedat a search event sponsored by Microsoft's Bing team Feb. 1, he politely suggested to Harry Shum, Microsoft's corporate vice president of core search development, that Bing had copied some Google search results. The issue went back and forth for a week with little resolution, though Microsoft pointed out that Google has been known to copy Bing features in the past. Now Bing is reportedly working on a predictive search technology, several months after Google launched Google Instant last year. What's going on here? Surely, the search rivals aren't copying code in the strictest sense of software programming, right? It's probably better to note that each company is borrowing ideas from the other in the name of providing the best search service to the consumer. When eWEEK asked each company whether the other was "copying" each other's work, both declined to comment. Of course, they would. It wouldn't do to make allegations and then be accused of borrowing an idea from a rival in the future. In any case, eWEEK spotlights some areas where Google and Bing appeared to borrow at least ideas from one another. We're going to categorically state that this is not a complete list; there may be features and functionality each rival appeared to copy that we don't include here. But, again, neither company will go on the record, so this is fun conjecture anyway.

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