Say Hello to BING Today

June 1, 2009

bingMicrosoft’s brand new attempt at building a search engine to compete with Google went live today, it’s BingTry it out.

Clearly there will be much to come on the subject, but initial reports are positive.  The search engine, which was announced last week, did not get the hype that recent search engine “Cuil” got before its release, but it’s already better.

There is nothing that will really blow you away initially, but it is a solid effort all around by Microsoft to get back into the search game.  The results are good for most every search that I tried this morning.  And comparing the results for the same searches in Google varies, sometimes Bing was actually better (more accurate).

Some features that stood out to me include the recent searches tool, a video playback for all video searches, and an enhanced local search with one click map and directions.  In addition, I think the best feature is within specific categories, the sidebar becomes a tool to narrow down your search. For example, if you search local bars in New York City, you can narrow down searches based on price, neighborhood, ratings, style, etc.

Bing is currently a trending topic on Twitter, and most of the comments seem to be pretty positive.  Here is an initial review from TechCrunch, which also discusses how positive the early feedback from users has been.

All of this is before Microsoft has spent a reported $100 Million to advertise the search engine.  We will see what the campaign is all about soon enough, but the word out of the Microsoft camp is that they are going straight at Google.  Time will tell if that is a smart strategy or not, but Microsoft has to be happy by what they have seen already this morning.

Having said all that, Bing is by no means the answer to the question of where is online search headed.  It’s strange that Microsoft would invest so much in what many consider to be the end of the current search era. With companies like Google, Yahoo, and Twitter investing in the future of search (real-time solutions), Microsoft almost seems to be jumping into a game in the 4th quarter.

Nonetheless, give the new service a try.  If you have used it already, let me know what you think in the comments below.

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