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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bing UK - Round 2

I've been contacted for the second time by Jordi Ribas from but this time for a one to one chat rather than just a Round Table.

First of all, even if I keep thinking why on earth they would like to know my opinion, I do appreciate the fact Microsoft teams are getting closer with developers as well (the problem is: do they know I am a web developer and not a web surfer?)

One Hour Chat

Nothing more and quite frenetic: I had a lot of questions while Jordi had to show me improvements since first disaster where they introduced bing UK showing us the USA version ...

Different Teams

Apparently Team System is not that powerful as we think. Microsoft teams are not sharing realtime code or improvements. There is a delay, that could be few days up to few months between USA and other versions and every team seems to be in charge of proper country search algorithm ...
In my opinion this is a massive waste of resources for whatever IT company. The team knowledge is partially sandboxed, but this is what we expect from whatever Microsoft product, but even strategies are different.
As example, bing USA shows useful info about whatever city plus touristic stuff and much more. Try to look for Chicago in bing USA and first info will be both useful and well organized: nice.
After 30 minutes of "look how much we take care about UK results" we tried London and not a single weather, map, or useful info has been showed. Even cooler, the first sponsored link is called: The Fastest Way To France ... I mean, Doode, if you search London of course it's because you wanna escape!

Visualize Mode - Aka Silverlight

Apparently Bing team put a lot of effort into visualize section ... what, you cannot use it?
Well, in my PC I have Flash, Silverlight, Java ...

So what? I do NOT
Jordi is a nice guy but he lost 300 points out of 10 when he replied something like:

JavaScript? ... ah, I am big fan, one team long time ago did this stuff and they used ECMAScript ...

Say what? In few words I had to show a truly silly example explaining that if I've been able to do that kind of FX via 1.23 KB of JavaScript, there is absolutely nothing, I repeat: nothing that is not possible to replicate in that visualize page via JavaScript rather than require a plug-in that is Microsoft specific.
He was surprised:
Did you really do this? ... oh yes, your name is there ... really it is only JavaScript?

(... I mean, guys, if you don't even know who you are inviting please don't ...)

Anyway, after this He talked about some standard stuff and I almost flipped out: so, Silverlight is considered a standard in Microsoft while JavaScript is considered "the old ECMAScript somebody tried ages ago" ... so, now my eyes are opened ... they don't even know they are using JavaScript in the whole site and partially even in the Silverlight section (images fade in/out FX) ... uhm ...

Why Silverlight

The only reasonable answers I've had about Silverlight are:
  1. we could not obtain same performances
  2. it's Microsoft stuff
In few words, Microsoft spent years and money to create a plugin able to bring what whatever TraceMonkey, V8, or WebKit based browser can devour with closed eyes. The day Microsoft will realize that the reason is loosing market share is an historical software cancer called Internet Explorer will be too late, surely after Google will beat everybody with free wireless access and free operating systems virus free and created to be online 100% of the time.

We Are Morons

I have tried to surf Bing via my Android ... slow, too slow, plus I need to move the page around to perform a search. What I have asked was:
Is there any chance you will put in the preferences panel a checkbox able to remove all that layout since the reason I use a search engine is to search stuff rather than check, as example, info about a Zebra mouth?

The answer was something like:
You see? When we have been in a school the Teacher was asking kids about those info showed over home page images!

There we are, the we are all morons Microsoft style is another reason developers do not always appreciate Microsoft decisions.
In few words Bing has been created for kids. OK, nice try, good purpose, I am sure we all wanna know more about the Zebra, but can it be possible that me, as 31 years old man that was only trying to search something had to wait 175 Kb before I can perform a search via suggestion and other more useful stuff? Can I decide to be interested about the Zebra mouth, only when I search for it? Maybe I am asking too much consideration ... so why does not Microsoft provide a teacher for all of us, interviewing about whatever bing shows in the home page?

Mobile Device Version

Since an average of 175 Kb plus a layout created for massive images, "let me suspect" that Bing did not think at all about all current and new Smart Phones (too futuristic, isn't it?), I have asked if there was any plan for a mobile version since that layout was clearly too much for my Android.
He showed me a weird phone I have no idea about, plus an address:
Well, the is just bing but remember the "we don't share code and knowledge" strategy? USA did a step forward providing this smart, fast, simple, and efficient interface and only in 4 Kb ... I already love this version!!! I would like to spend more time about this super fast and efficient Bing but I have been called for something else ... the "for kid and broadband only" version ... how cute!

Partially Color Blind

Both first time and this time I had to underline it's difficult and confusing for me to have all these bloody random images under main features on the top left of the page.
This is the main reason I have asked if it was possible to remove from preferences panel these pointless images since I am not interested but all I received as answer was something like:
We have a blind developer that is complaining more about tags positions

So, since I am extremely lucky compared with this person, I can be ignored ... my problem does not exist, right?
FAIL, let me remove those bloody thingy under what I am trying to read!
Microsoft has always been closed to assisted technologies so why this Bing cannot be "simply simpler" and closer to me as well?


For the good part I let you discover what UK team has done so far. Definitively Bing UK improved from the first beta that was a graphic wrapper around Live, but it's still not that clever as is the USA version and adopted strategies/choices are arguable.
Silverlight: get out my view! Google success is speed and simplicity and Bing best feature requires a third part plugin that could not be there? FAIL
Images: nice, cool, good hint for people that have nothing to do and lot of time to play looking for squares over those images ... but maybe somebody else is trying to work with his/her PC and all this stuff becomes just annoying. I mean, even random images ...
Mobile: if there is a mobile version I expect a massive GO MOBILE button ... where is it, exactly? Not there plus no automatic redirect, and best of all, is a completely unknown alternative. Microsoft, what are you exactly doing there? We are basically in 2010, did you realize this?

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