Microsoft Bing Launches Unique Feature Called Visual Search

Microsoft Bing Launches Unique Feature Called Visual Search

Microsoft Bing Launches Unique Feature Called Visual SearchMicrosoft has introduced a new enhancement called 'Visual Search' to Bing. Tagged with a beta label, this new feature is available to the US audience only. Microsoft has announced the launch of 'Visual Search' at the prestigious Techcrunch50 Conference in San Francisco. You can check it out either by visiting or access it directly from Bing's homepage.

What is Visual Search?

Visual Search will allow Bing users to find information about certain items by looking just at their images. It's doesn't matter if the user is not sure about what to search about the item textually. All the searcher needs to do is hover the mouse over the images and a variety of details will be displayed. Visual Search is now available for a select few categories but more categories are expected to be added in the near future.

In a blog post on Monday Bing product manager Todd Schwartz said announced:

Visual Search is a new way to formulate and refine your search queries through imagery, particularly for sets of results that tend to be more structured. We call these data groupings galleries. Visual Search allows you to quickly scroll through the galleries or do a one-click refinement using the quick tabs on the left, which are specifically relevant to the type of results you are browsing through.”

Visual Search

Powered by Microsoft's Silverlight Web display technology ' Visual Search' is yet another new feature from Microsoft's arsenal to attempt to close on Google's mammoth search market share which stood at 83.33% last month. Microsoft's grand plans already started with the 'Microhoo' deal in July under which Bing will provide the search technology to Yahoo.

By unveiling ‘Visual Search’ corporate giant Microsoft is hoping to offer something unique to the searching world. Until now users have been navigating the internet mainly through textual hyperlinks. But with ‘Visual Search’ a new graphical way of surfing the web has just arrived. Google has no equivalent feature in its site yet and in the battle for search supremacy ‘Visual Search’ may be showing us all how much Google likes a little competition. Looking at the smooth manner in which it has been implemented, Bing seems set to win more users and gain market share.

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  • avatar

    Now on May 2011, Bing Visual Search launches in Australia with 16 galleries generated using local data, with more galleries, including Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth restaurants, sport teams, and entertainment categories to be added this year.

  • avatar
    Teddy Hains 


    Hi, I found this blog article while searching for help with fixing Microsoft Silverlight. I’ve recently switched internet browser from Google Chrome to Microsoft IE 6. Just recently I seem to have a problem with loading websites that have Microsoft Silverlight. Every time I browse page that needs Microsoft Silverlight, the page freezes and I get a “npctrl.dll” error. I can’t seem to find out how to fix the problem. Any help getting Microsoft Silverlight to function is very appreciated! Thanks

  • avatar

    This seems like a really cool feature, especially for those who respond and learn better to pictures VS words or printed text.
    I wish I could check it out here in Canada!

  • avatar

    This is a product that has every reason to make Microsoft proud. Cool choice as it is absolutely new, different and better. With this launch I think Microsoft has stepped up its assault on Google further.
    On the flip side, why isnt it universally supported, as Visual Search is limited to 50 topics only. If this hole is plugged, Visual Search would be a trumpcard for Microsoft in the future.

  • avatar

    Simply fantastic, though it has features similar to Google. However, if your image isn’t labeled aptly, it will probably never be included in the search engines visual system. So optimizing the images becomes all the more important.

  • avatar

    Jay: The link will currently work only in US, and not yet in Canada. Visual Search is handy for users who are not sure about what to search about the item textually. Thus if you know Berlusconi by his face and not by his name then visual search can help you know more, you only have to hover the mouse over the image.

  • avatar

    Bravo, probably a real innovation from ‘M’. It seems that Microsoft is really focused on grabbing the large search market share Google holds. It is good to have search results displayed in a grid-like image gallery. Sure this is going to start a new way of internet searching.

  • avatar is showing a page not found error, even no links are found in home page for visual search.
    So does it mean that instead of typing text, search can be done by selecting the listed images?
    Will it just add more clicks rather than typing the text directly to the search box.
    I think visual search is for those who are reluctant or lazy for typing.

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