Almost a month ago, Microsoft sought to prove once and for all, or at least drum up some publicity, that people only liked Google because they were used to it and that Bing is in fact the superior search engine.
So it devised a blind test pitting Google against Bing and asked users to rate the best results for the same query.
Granted, it wasn't exactly a "blind" test unless Microsoft meant that literally, in the sense that you had to be blind not to notice which search engine was which.
Still, the results are now in and they're more than conclusive. Well, at least that's what Microsoft wants you to believe. In its testing it found that 2 out of 3 people who took the test prefered the Bing results to the Google ones.
Well, actually, that's not what it found. Microsoft had some five million visits to the test, though it did not say how many people actually completed the challenge.
But the two to one figure doesn't come from the web page, it comes from a separate study on just 4,700 which were asked to take the test and then polled about it.
Of those 4,700, two thirds prefered the Bing results, which would be 3,133 users. Granted, 4,700 people is a good sample for a survey, but surveys can be made to say whatever the company paying for them wants to say.
It is curious though that Microsoft didn't release any numbers for the overall tests. Of the five million people who saw the challenge surely at least a few hundreds of thousands completed the five queries required.
One possible answer is that, overall, two thirds of the people who took the challenge did not in fact prefer Bing. But that's just speculation, of course.