Google takes a (home)page from Microsoft

In the ever-waging wars of technology these days, it seems that Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter are king.

Each with individual attributes making them wildly successful and seemingly sustainable.

But there’s another war going on in the tech world. A war slightly less obvious, but no less important; the search war.

Search is the way of the future and beauty of digitization: as fast as we can type, we can now pull up nearly instantaneous results for our queries, whether that be online or just finding things on a computer or hard drive.

In the search engine sector, Microsoft’s Bing has been gaining some traction, differentiating with visually captivating imagery that makes Google’s notoriously simplistic look dull.

I’ve found Bing’e travel features highly effective for booking plane flights and finding good deals on hotels. Bing’s results are almost always cheaper than the competitors, whom you can compare against with the ease of a few clicks.

Not to mention, Bing recently got the “Colbert Bump” with a big charity push on The Colbert Report. Every time Stephen Colbert said the word “bing” on his show this past Monday, Microsoft’s Internet search engine donated $2,500 to benefit the Gulf Coast oil spill. The bills binged up quick, racking up nearly $100,000 in a hilarious bit that lasted through the whole show.

But more interesting than Bing is what Google announced on its official blog last week: now you can add your favorite photo or image to the background of your boring white Google homepage!

Now hang on a second…isn’t that what Bing does?

Well, it’s not a a bad idea to copy. People want personalization and people like pretty.

The white was getting a little boring, despite the increasingly frequent changes to the Google logo (like celebrating Pacman’s 30th anniversary — which, by the way, you can still play at google.com/pacman).

But hey, Bing does seem to be one of the few things that Microsoft is doing right these days, so I guess it’s the company’s turn to have someone borrow from them instead of the other way around.

I must note, perhaps for sheer irony, Microsoft’s name is never nearby when it comes to Bing. Not on “The Colbert Report” and its certainly not branding the searches (as far as I can tell).

Competition is welcome when it doesn’t make our decision-making process out of control, and lucky for Google and Bing, Yahoo!, AltaVista, Ask.com, Lycos and the rest of those forgotten ’90s memories still kind of suck.

Watch The Colbert Bing Bump HERE.

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