May 28, 2009
I'm searching, but I can't find Bing
Posted by Gordon Smith

Bing is Microsoft's new search engine. Or so I am told. If you go to the Bing site, you will get a blank page a page announcing that Bing is "coming soon." Very sleek, but not very functional. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer "unveiled" Bing today at the WSJ's D: All Things Digital conference, but the site won't be up and running until next week.

If you read tech blogs, you have known for some time that Microsoft was going to use the word Bing as the brand for its new search engine. My parents would think first of Bing Crosby, but I thought of Dave Bing. Still, I suspect Microsoft will have us all associating the word with search before long, even if they can't figure out how to launch the site at the same time as it is unveiled.

By the way, here is the press release from Microsoft, and here is the new logo ...

BingLogo_lg

Screen captures for the site can be found here. I don't see anything revolutionary about Bing, and the new bells and whistles seem redundant or boring. A generous sampling:

  • xRank "Lets you quickly see if your favorite celebrity is hot or not."
  • Sentiment Extraction "Bing summarizes user and expert reviews from across the Web to help you make an informed decision." 
  • Rich Listing Results "Offers a quick snapshot of information relevant to your decision, such as restaurant location, phone number, one-click directions and menu."
  • Travel "Shows the best deals on flights and hotel accommodations so you can make informed decisions about your travel arrangements."
  • Hotel Rate Key "Uses a color-coded rating system that indicates whether the current rate for a specific hotel appears to be a deal."
  • Related Searches "Offers a list of queries that are relevant to your topic; in this case, a search for U2 delivers some of the band’s popular videos in the search results page."
  • Health "Bing provides access to medical information on symptoms, diagnosis and medical procedures from nine trusted medical resources."

I find the current version of Google almost always gets me where I want to go. Am I in the minority? Competition for Google is nice, I suppose, but show me something new and interesting I can do with search if you want me to switch.

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