In Response to an Evolving Search Industry, Microsoft Starts Over with Bing

By Amanda Sides | Jun 1, 2009
More Articles by Amanda


From the start, the announcement of the new Microsoft Search Engine resulted in skeptical predictions. People all over are changing their minds.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced its newly rejuvenated search engine: Bing. Microsoft says search results from Bing will display with Live Search results as of June 1; June 3 marks the date Bing will completely replace Live Search as its default engine.

Some are saying that the announcement was a little more lackluster than anticipated, because of Google’s attempt to upstage the announcement by simultaneously revealing Wave, which is planned to launch later this year. Reviews are already questioning whether Bing can displace Google.

Bing is considered to be a decision engine; helping users make better decisions. Instead of displaying long lists of links, Bing says it scans sites such as Yelp and CitySearch, providing information that will help the user make a decision faster. Bing is said to be particularly helpful in regards to movie listings, product reviews and weather and travel related searches, by providing an information and data fusion.

Just a few of the features of Bing:

  • Hovering over a thumbnail in the video search site results in the video playing right there on the page.
  • Bing will identify the best match, sometimes even hiding other results when there is a clear match for what the user is looking for.
  • Product searches yield user and professional reviews gathered from various sites.
  • Company searches will include customer service phone numbers.

Visual presentation is said to be better than that of Google. Technology from Powerset (a search technology company, acquired by Microsoft last year) is being used to help get more related searches, which improves the generic search results.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer discussed their new approach in an interview with Walt Mossberg. During the interview, he explained the motive behind the new name “Bing.” They “wanted something that was short, could be used as a verb, and didn’t have negative or unusual connotations.”

Journalists are already boasting that Bing is the “first step in moving beyond search to help make faster, more informed decisions.” Microsoft is hoping this new design will help consumers gain more insight and information from the web, so decisions can be made more efficiently. There are already masses of reviews out there; searchers are anticipating the launch to decide for themselves.  What will you decide? Find out more.

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