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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Cuil as the Other Side of the Pillow

July 30, 2008

Yesterday marked the much anticipated (in the tech world anyway) launch of Cuil.com, a new search engine from a couple of ex-Googlers.  In case you missed it, I invite you to go check it out right now.  Of course it is very early to tell whether or not Cuil will make any kind of a run at Google’s search market dominance, but initial reports were less then great.

Upon trying the engine out for a short while, I found that the search results were questionable at best.  It is clear that their one major claim, that they index many more web pages than Google, is true.  However, the search rankings varied on significance, and the alternative layout tends to put me off.  But like I said, it is a long road, and we will see if Cuil can pick up the kind of steam they are looking for.

Now I bet you may be asking yourself, why even challenge Google?  Well, I have to tip my hat to them.  How else can you expect any change to happen if new companies don’t challenge the market leaders?  As internet users, we didn’t know we needed Google before the search behemoth came along.  And now, it would be pretty hard to see whether or not we need something new.  It’s time for the wait and see game, as we find out what kinds of tricks Cuil.com might have up their sleeves.