How do I search for thee? Let me count the ways.
The wonder of the World Wide Web is that is does, in many ways, put the world at your fingertips. Knowing exactly where you want to go (by having the URL for a particular page) is fine, but how do you find what else is out there? How do you explore? How do you discover things you had no idea even existed? Enter the search engine – that marvelous class of tools that lets you sift, and filter, and sort through all of the stuff out there in unimaginable proportions.
Back in the day, as they say, I was a devoted user of WebCrawler (after having used Archie and Gopher pre-web). I dabbled in Lycos, AltaVista, and Yahoo, of course, before moving almost exclusively to Google. MSN Search and Live Search were not even on my radar, and I never used them except by mistake (when I typed search terms in the address bar in more recent versions of IE, for instance).
I’ve gotten spoiled lately using Google’s Chrome browser and being able to do Google searches right from the address bar. This is not unlike what you can do with IE and MSN Search or Live Search, I know, but the combination of minimal interface and performance is really satisfying. As a result, while I’ve plinked around on Bing a little bit and it looks nice, I’m having a hard time finding any reason to change.
It’s a little like the problem GM is having selling the Chevy Malibu. The Malibu a highly rated competitor to the Toyota Camry, true, but when you already have a Camry, do you need a Malibu, too? (We’ll overlook the fact that GM is going through bankruptcy and Microsoft isn’t, but I think the analogy is reasonable otherwise.) Like this article in PC Magazine says, having another appealing choice isn’t a bad thing, but all it is is a choice, another option. Whether it really brings anything else to the table doesn’t seem really clear.