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Online Innovation June 16th, 2009
Its ‘bing’ time on the internet. This month it has been the hot topic of the blogosphere. By making it live two days ahead than expected Microsoft has made a kickstart to its ambitious strategy to get close to Google. This much hyped, much awaited search engine was accessible to searchers world wide recently. Though the initial reports show a positive reaction towards Bing, it will take some time before Bing can escape from the shadows of Live search. It shares some common traits with Live. Live’s big index is one instance (That would be a major aspect to be considered by Microsoft for improving).
Agreed, Bing is good, but how good?
Let us have a quick glance on its new additions. It sports a cool look that almost resembles a picture post card. For users who got bored by the dull Live search interface, Bing ushers in a refreshing change (This effect you might have noticed). Microsoft termed Bing as a "Decision Engine" and this seems to be a very apt description as it really helps users to play a role in their search results.
A useful feature is the quick preview of any search result. Just hover the mouse on the right side of any result you will get a snapshot of what is on that page.
Another notable feature Bing has is the top left panel displaying organized categories for the search query entered. For example: in a search for ‘health’ (see the image below) it returns different categories that are relevant to the search query. For Microsoft it is the ‘Explore Pane’ embedding the clustering ‘Quick Tabs’.
‘Related Searches’, though it is not a new feature to Microsoft (Bing & Live Search carries this feature), it seems they have done some refining to that category. It returns a cluster splitted up with geo-specific and topic wise categories. A nice feature indeed.
The left panel displays another feature ‘Search History’. This shows the previous search queries of the user. Thus, the user can always revert to the previous search results easily. It also has options:
‘See all’. This way one can view the entire search queries for up to 48 hours (If you’re using the same browser),
‘Clear all’ Can remove the search history
‘Turn off’ Which allows you to turn on and turn off
‘Search History’ Feature from your search page.
Bing makes a good first impression with its appealing interface and rich features. The past few months have seen a lot being written about Microsoft’s new search engine. There was much talk and lots of anticipation. Earlier the chatter was about ‘Kumo’. Then the name of the brand was officially released and we learned it was ‘Bing’.
Bing hasn’t disappointed. Certainly it is a big improvement on the almost dead Live search. Now it will be interesting to think about the impact Bing will have. The buzz in the industry is that all of the chatter has already helped it surpass Yahoo! We will see where it ends up after the dust settles. Our own DJ Kennedy has already suggested that it very well could take over as the 2nd most popular search engine in his ‘Market Share May 2009’ article. But nobody is suggesting it will ever rival Google.