I’ve avoided talking about Bing because I kinda think web search is boring. Don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely a vital tool, but Google already has that on lock and we’ve already seen new search engines try to step to Google and fail miserably. Then again, I remember when Altavista was my search engine of choice, so I guess it may always be a possibility that something better could come along. That being said, let’s take a quick look at Bing.
What Is It?
Bing is Microsoft’s new search engine offering. It dropped on May 28th, which you might recall as the same day Google Wave did their unveiling. Some suggest Google did this on purpose to overshadow Microsoft’s release, but Google would never do that…right? Some have suggested that “Bing” stands for Bing Is Not Google, which it most certainly is not. Bing claims to have gone “beyond search to build what we call a decision engine” that will help you make important decisions faster.
At first glance, Bing looks a bit like Google except for the fancy background image. Doing a search will give you similar results to what you might find on Google, but definitely not the same results. Some argue that the results from Bing are a lot spammier and less useful. I did a vanity search for my name and didn’t see any spam, but I’m not as popular as Matt Cutts, who tweeted about his Bing experience.
I think the more interesting bits are tucked away in Bing’s sidebar. Browse videos by category like TV Shows, Sports, and News. The results page shows thumbnails of each video. Hovering a thumbnail plays a detailed preview of the video. It looks like it takes a bit from the beginning, a little something from the middle, and a bit from the end. This helps a lot in figuring out if you should bother clicking through.
A photo search displays thumbnails as expected. Hovering the thumbnail shows you the images size and what site it’s on. You also have a link for Similar Images. When I searched for myself and looked for similar images, I ended up getting results from what seems like every thread I’ve ever Liked or commented on on FriendFeed that happened to include an image. Not only could that turn out to be embarrassing, but many of those images really have nothing to do with me. I’m assuming Bing is looking at the images in proximity to my name.
Playing around with Bing for a while changed my mind a little about how useful it is. It’s not just different from Google, but provides some features that either Google doesn’t support. For instance, searching Bing for a celebrity like T.I. will give you options to quickly find Images, Songs, Lyrics, Quotes, Wallpapers, Movies, Fan Clubs, Videos, and xRank. The interface is also a nice change from Googles plain white and blue. I guess we’ll see how long it lasts.
Have you used Bing yet? What do you think?Category: News, Startups, Trends, web 2.0 | Tags: bing, google, live, live search, Microsoft, msn