Bing is the new internet search engine from Microsoft, it replaces Live Search, MSN search and Windows Live Search to become their only web search engine offering. Internet addicts and tech news geeks should be aware of the arrival of Bing in early June but feedback and acceptance of Bing has been mixed. Contrary to what many might thing (or want you to think) Bing is much more than MSN or Live search with a new coat of paint, it is a complete rework from the ground up and I am a big fan.
Bing homepage on Father’s day showing a photo of a lion and a cub
Firstly let me say I am not search engine expert but I am a technical user with experience as a website/blog developer and a heavy user of search engines to find what I need online. I have made a list below of some of the features and reasons I enjoy using Bing.
Good Search results
A search engine isn’t useful if it cannot perform it’s basic task and this is where Bing shines. I am actually surprised after remembering all the crap Live search used to spit out when searching for some simple terms. Bing’s results are good and while there is still room for improvement I find the results more than acceptable.
Advanced search features
If the search results made me stick around then advanced features are what made me fall in love with Bing. Some of my favourite features include putting my cursor to the right of results to view page contents, a history of my recent searches, previewing videos from right withing the search results and relevant related searches to the word or phrase I am currently searching for.
I love the design of Bing’s homepage. Being a photography buff Bing graduated to become one of my many Firefox homepage tabs because I was always excited to see which photograph would be the homepage background daily. I could learn a few things about composing pictures and scrolling over certain spots on the pictures provided info about the location of the shot and more. In case I miss out of one of the photos scrolling back to previous days is also quick and easy.
Image, Video and News Searches
I like the options I get when searching for images such as size, layout, colour and more. As well as the video preview listed above I also get options similar to when search for images and can break down results by resolution, source, length and more. I don’t know if it is only for me but one click Google news search disappeared from the nav bar in Google search results and I to directly go to Google News and then search for what I want. News searches are easy and relevant with Bing weather I want to learn about the E5 Shinkansen press reveal or how badly the West Indies cricket team lost to Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 tournament.
Take the Blind Search test plus Firefox plug-in
Fellow blogger, Japan enthusiast and Twitter user saltypear sent me an interesting link on Twitter after hearing me tweet about my love for Bing. Blind Search is a cool site removes the branding from search queries to see how differently will users will perceive the results of Yahoo Search, Google Search and Bing Search. Take it for a spin if you dare, my results for 10 random search were 5 votes for Bing, 4 for Google and 1 for Yahoo. Firefox users can grab one of many Firefox plugins for Bing here.
In closing Bing is worth a trail run and is a worthy challenger to the Google behemoth. I believe it has already slayed the Yahoo beast and if marketed well can chew on Google’s market share over time. The big G will not sit idly and watch this happen though and this competition can only be good for the end users like you and me.
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