Last week while doing a project I typed in few key words in the search box of Microsoft Internet Explorer. I got a result page with bluish background and pretty unfamiliar things. I mean things which we are not used to see in the Google search result pages. My first reaction was that of surprise. Then I thought it might be a change in look for Google, but that seemed too unrealistic to happen as the screens were very flashy by Google’s standards. On closer inspection I realized it is something called “BING”. I couldn’t resist the temptation to check it out and to figure out what it is I opened “Google.com”, what an irony! Isn’t it? If you are not able to understand why I said irony, you will realize the same once you get to the last word of this piece of writing.
My Google search results revealed that it is the Search engine, oh sorry, the decision engine that Microsoft came out with as an answer to the search engines including the one I was using (i.e. Google). Now then my next query was what the heck is a “Decision Engine”. According to the description given by none other than the founder of BING, a decision engine is something which will redefine the way search is done by the users. It claims that the so called Decision Engine is going to take into account the changing needs of the users who opens a search page to gather information. The Decision Engine promise to enable the users knowledge and not only information. It claims that the users will not only be able to search relevant information but also use it properly and in this endeavor of the user the Decision engine will do the required hand holding. Learning all this I almost said “BINGO” it seems to what would be great, but then I realized its not “BINGO” it is BINGO sans the “O”. It is BING!!
Some say that Microsoft “Banks on a Bang from BING”. So lets get some more idea about BING. The first question that popped up in my mind was: Is this another self proclaimed Google Killer? But then I saw the positioning with which BING has been launched. It is very cleverly positioned as the “Decision Engine” and never it mentions anything about being a killer or competitor of Google. It is positioned as a filter the information overload that the users are exposed to when they search for something in the search engines. According to many critics of BING, it is no way near to Google and for them the only change is the exiting name. But from the reviews in net it seems that many people are interested in BING and some of them even happy with the performance. Another sect of people feels that BING is not going to go a long way in Microsoft’s quest to best Google, but it definitely betters Microsoft’s Live Search by quite a huge margin. For me the improvement starts with the name itself. BING certainly sounds much interesting than the boring “Live Search”. And according to Microsoft Bing is a search engine that finds and organizes the answers your need so you can make faster, more informed decisions.
Bing is in no way claiming to do the search in a new way when it comes to the algorithms and techniques used in search engines but it claims to organize the indexed contents better by narrowing down the search results to more relevant information (oh sorry knowledge). So the major areas where BING wish to conquer the search engines and attract more users are:
- 1. Increased relevancy
2. New way to organize search results
3. Task simplification
4. Greater Insight
Lets look into some of the features of BING:
- – Bing like Live Search has specialized search engines
- Bing organizes search results into categories – However to start with this categorization is done only for a select few topics. Microsoft plan to extend the list going forward.
- Bing also shows the related search topics in the left hand panel along with the main search results
- Search History is maintained – Search history is kept even if you are not logged in. It is maintained for 48 hours.
- For some queries a single BEST MATCH is returned
- Instant Answers – Getting the direct answer to a particular query in the top of the heap of the search results
Few other interesting things in Bing are:
- Infinite Scroll of images
- Shopping search
- Local search
- Travel search
- Health search
These are some of the important features in short. Read on for more details
The major challenge that BING would face in establishing substantial user base is in diverting users from Google to BING. How so ever they might say that they are not aiming to become a Google killer, but the fact is to gain market share they have to attract users away from Google. And this seems to be quite a task! Microsoft is spending huge sums in marketing their latest kid in the block ( $80 million dollars on marketing BING). Googling has become so synonymous with searching that it seems a long way to go for Microsoft before they can make user Bing rather than Google!