The Thing about Bing

I was not much of a fan of Microsoft’s Live Search. The only time I used it was to save some money on eBay with a promotion that they were running.   Perhaps it was the branding or the boring name or perhaps I was absolutely happy with Fighting the force of habit is certainly not easy.

Enter Bing. I decided to try Bing for atleast a day and see what the search engine could do.With about 20 searches, my initial reaction is that, the search engine is actually quite effective.

It produces decent results and also classifies information in ways that Google does not yet do.

For example all searches produce an additional reference link. A search for “Antique Cars” brings up results and on the left side a navigation bar with links to Manufacturers, Values, Trading, Parts, Reviews. The old feature of Cashback is still there with Eligible purchases get you money back.

A cool feature within Bing is the neverending image view function. Searching for images is continuous and you can keep scrolling till there are no more images to display. Images can be sorted by size and various other presentation options.

Now, what’s impressive about searching for images with people in them is that Bing can filter photos with “just faces”, “head and shoulders” and “other”. And this function works quite well.

Another cool feature is the webpage content preview function. A mouse over any of the search results gives you a filtered and condensed view of what the page contains without actually visit the page. This is helpful if you’re into research and need to find documents to read.

From a webmaster point of view, a website I submitted to Bing got indexed in less than 24 hours.

Searches are fast! Search results are clean. Cached version of pages are available. And search key term suggestions works nicely.

From the looks of it – Microsoft’s got a great product with a decent name – finally.

The challenge for Microsoft is to break into people’s Google habit. I am going to try both Google and Bing interchangeably over the next month and get into the habit of trying either engine randomly. Who knows, maybe using two search engines instead of one may actually make my life more interesting.

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