headline: googles trap for microsoft
PR "wins" can become PR nightmares in a blink.
Firstly because I think they originally misunderstood the manner in which Bing's results were being influenced by their own, and then secondly because if they are going to complain about Microsoft collecting information about their user's usage patterns -- well, that's really, really hypocritical coming from Google. Lastly because the whole thing smacks of high school level gossip. If Microsoft is really doing something out of line, handle it in some other way than engaging in a gossipy blog war.
To reiterate, I'm actually a Google fan, I'm OK with trading some privacy for useful services, but if they are going to bang on Microsoft for collecting user usage information, well that's about the worst case of the pot calling the kettle black I've ever heard of in the tech industry.
Discussing the hypotheticals of the situation as others are doing is interesting (serious), but irrelevant. The court of public opinion isn't going to care about that nuance and will find against Bing if this goes viral. All of the other defenses won't matter either, "everyone is doing this" and so on. Public opinion won't care.