I've strayed outside of Google only a couple of times in my professional career as a programmer, and every time I've raced back shivering and scared at how bad the world is outside of Google's house. When it comes to programming related queries, it's amazing at how unhelpful search engines can be. With the launch of Bing, I've crept outside once again, and I can proudly report that it doesn't suck as much as I expected.
It's clear that developers overwhelmingly use Google. This is not some strange coincidence, or because "it's cool", it's because the results are the best. Switch On The Code receives tens of thousands of search visits each week, and about 98% of them come from Google.
In order to totally immerse myself, I set my browser's default search provider to Bing and went to work as usual. I probably need to ask Google (now Bing) about 2-5 questions a day when I'm programming. Usually because I forgot some obscure syntax or I want to know how to use a specific object. It's been a couple of days now, and Bing has successfully answered every question I've asked it.
Here's an example where Bing actually outshines Google. We had a question on our Subversion Notepad++ Plugin post about a mysterious EOT characters being added to the document. I entered "EOT character" into Bing and the first result was what I wanted. Google was slightly less helpful, but still helpful none-the-less. I simply wanted to know what the EOT character was and Bing answered immediately. Google's top result links to a page with a huge table of ASCII characters that I'd have to manually search through.
What's interesting is that neither search engine came anywhere close to giving me an answer when I searched for just "EOT". There are, however, a lot more important definitions for EOT than some obscure ASCII character, so I'll forgive them on this one.
Here's an example of where I forgot some syntax I don't use that often. I wanted to know how to declare an enum in C# as a flag. This time, Bing again, gave the best result first. Google's top hit does also answer the question, but the quality and clarity of that article is much less than that of Bing's top hit.
Here's an example where Google and Bing answered the same question nearly identically. In C#, constructors can call other constructors. It's something I use about once a decade, so I needed to look up the syntax. I searched for "C# calling other constructors".
I won't lie, the InformIT page in Bing's results is a little weird. It's an excerpt from a book, however the excerpt did include the syntax I was looking for. The page I used for the solution was the second hit in both engines. Google's other results, however, are a little higher quality than Bing's for this query.
So it appears that Bing will actually be useful to developers, whereas in the past that honor lied solely with Google. That being said, if you're a developer that hasn't given Bing a spin, it wouldn't hurt checking it out. As for this programmer, it'll stay my default search engine until something inevitably leads me back to Google.