May 10, 2012
Microsoft Pushes Bing With Desktop Add-On
Anyone using the Windows operating system knows that Patch Tuesday is the day Microsoft updates Windows and other Microsoft products with the latest security patches. One of the optional downloads in the latest batch is something called Bing Desktop. It’s Microsoft’s way of trying to bring attention to its Bing search engine, at least if Windows 7 is installed. I didn’t load the program, as I’m skeptical of how deep this kind of stuff gets into the inner workings of my machine. It took me hours to set up Windows when I got my latest machine and I hate things that upset my workflow. I did look it up to see what it does, just in case.
For those who are interested, it places a gigantic search box on the Windows desktop which allows one to search Bing, naturally. It also optionally syncs the desktop with the Bing graphic of the day. Pay attention to the checkboxes during the install (if one is installing it) as it defaults to wallpaper syncing, setting the homepage to MSN on Internet Explorer, and setting Bing as the default search provider on Internet Explorer.
Commentary suggests that Microsoft is a bit desperate with this move. Digital Trends calls it “practically spamware,” while Betanews calls is beautiful an annoying. The program is available separately from Microsoft, with information and download links here and here. I agree with much of the commentary that suggests that this is an odd item to get pushed through Windows Update. On the other hand, it may not have gotten much notice if Microsoft hadn’t pushed it, much like the 15% search market share Bing now owns natively. Throw Yahoo in, as it uses Bing as its search engine and the numbers are a more respectable 29%. [MG]