Microsoft tweeted to Google and the world (a few hours ago before this post) to ridicule their top competitor about hi-jacking their 'background images' from their search engine. Bing, which was just a glint in Steve Ballmer's eye back in early 2009 (see "Bada Bing…is Microsoft putting a Hit On Local Search?") feels its' trademark background images belongs in the hands of those that came up with the idea.
Google added a default background image to give users the option of switching to a pastoral setting for their Google Search homepage. As you can see, one would almost think they were transferred to Bing's site by mistake.
Google's Blog indicated today, "Today, we’re introducing a new feature that brings a whole new level of personalization to Google by letting you add a favorite photo or image to the background of the Google homepage. You can choose a photo from your computer, your own Picasa Web Album or a public gallery hosted by Picasa which includes a selection of beautiful photos."
By Bing-ifying their site, users were allowed to customize their backgrounds with other pre-selected images. Bing, on the other hand has featured a rotating photo as its background since it launched. Here is today's.
This led, Bing to volley a tweet broadside at Google to announce to their world that Google was playing dirty pool.
This copy-cat tactic could also be leveled against Bing and Google, as Ask.com (which is barely a player in the search game anymore) was the first search engine to allow users to add themes to their homepage.
So, all's fair in love and search. But Google, shame on you! You are the dominant force in the search engine space. With your extensive labor pool, billions in reserves and marketing braintrust - you couldn't come up with a novel new way to gain a little attention? You really needed to shop-lift?