Back in 2012, Microsoft launched a Bing It On campaign which basically compared Google’s search to their own search, Bing. According to Microsoft’s claims at that time, users preferred Bing’s search to Google’s search by a ratio of 2:1. This was a surprising claim given that Google, at least on the surface, would be much preferred due to their tight integration with all their products, and their reputation of being around longer than Bing. Well it turns out Microsoft’s claims might not be as accurate as they claim, according to Yale Law School professor, Ian Ayres, who wrote on Freakonomics that the study he and his students conducted actually yielded very different results.
According to Ayres, “To the contrary of Microsoft’s claim, 53% of subjects preferred Google and 41% Bing (6% of results were ‘ties’) [...] This is not even close to the advertised claim that people prefer Bing ‘nearly two-to-one.’ It is misleading to have advertisements that say people prefer Bing 2:1 and also say join the millions of people who’ve taken the Bing-It-On challenge, if, as in our study, the millions of people haven’t preferred Bing at a nearly a 2:1 rate.” Those are some very bold claims and Microsoft has since responded to Ayres’ findings, stating that a faulty methodology was used by Ayres which explains how he got the results he did, but what do you guys think?
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