Microsoft's UK MD Ashley Highfield has told TechRadar that he wants people to 'Google in Bing' saying the company's still-fledgling search engine is Dyson to Google's Hoover, and admitting that the software giant may need to take a leaf out of Apple's book.
Highfield passionately believes that Bing is simply a better search product than Google search, admitting that the hardest job will be to convince an apathetic public that it should switch.
"Bing is an easier to use, prettier, much more of its age search engine than Google," asserted Highfield. "We just need to get more people aware of that and using it.
"It's hard, I'm not sure consumers care that much at the moment - certainly publishers do, people who want to protect or exploit their own intellectual property – they care – advertisers, agencies - most of the value chain cares about not having one dominant supplier or gatekeeper to all internet traffic.
"But consumers have to see clear value proposition for them. I believe Bing's got it. I believe Bing's got it in spades. I think it's just a better search engine – it's quicker to find what you're searching for whether it's instant answers or hovering over search results, the way we handle video visual search, the home."
Following Apple's example
Highfield believes that Microsoft needs to create an emotional connection with users, and make Bing a little more loved.
"I'm beginning to think that what we need – in the way that Apple does so brilliantly – is to create a more emotional connection with our audience to get Bing a bit loved," said Highfield.
"I think that it could be [whereas] Google is a utility - but you don't tend to love Thames Water."
Dyson to Hoover, Google in Bing
Microsoft has not been shy about comparing Bing to cool products – with UK Search Lead Paul Stoddart telling TechRadar at the launch of the UK version of Bing that it was 'the Apple of search' and Highfield, too, has a comparison.
"We've got a PR story to tell," admitted Highfield. "When people have used a product for the best part of a decade they don't realise that - particularly as 'to Google' has become a verb - their Hoover is looking a bit old fashioned next to the Dyson.
"We're Dyson – we've got the better product. Now Dyson came from nowhere and has become the UK's number one hoover.
"I want people to Google in Bing."
Highfield is keen to push the message that Microsoft UK's extensive local search team is working hard to make Bing the best British search engine.
"If we can capture the best of both worlds and show people we have a fresh innovative standalone team, a team in Britain making Bing the best British search engine, but also saying that this is a Microsoft product – and we're proud of that – and therefore this is a quality offering, then that's our trick," he adds
"Bing is new, fresh and not another 'here today and gone tomorrow' project; this is trench warfare and it won't be over in days and months but years."
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Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content. After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.