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It's Official: Bing to Launch June 3rd

Today at the D7 Conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the new search engine that has been previously known under its code-name “Kumo” is going to be called “Bing” and will launch worldwide on Wednesday, June 3rd.

The search engine is being called a “Decision Engine” because its aim is to help you “navigate through excess information and find the shortest distance to an informed decision,” reads the new website promoting the engine, DiscoverBing.com. Reading between the lines of that statement, it’s clear that the goal of Bing is to help us search better and faster, without having to waste so much time scrolling through useless or irrelevant results, an experience that many of us have had in the past. In fact, it’s more of a common experience than you may have realized – a recent comScore Inc. study across search engines showed that as many as 30% of searches are abandoned without a satisfactory result! They also found that approximately two-thirds of the remaining searches required a refinement or re-query on the search results page. What a waste of time!

Working with Bing Results

As to how Bing is going to refine the search process, that has to do with a combination of features built into Bing. Of course, still at the top of the list is relevant search results – obviously, that’s critical. However, the results on Bing have been refined to surface the best answer for you in the form of a search result called “Best Match” which will appear at the top of your results list. If you want to delve in deeper to the resources of a particular site, a feature called “Deep Links” can help you there. Also, a Quick Preview feature will display a hover-over window that expands the search result caption so you can decide if the result is worth the clickthrough.

quickPreviews_print

Quick Previews

Organized Search

Besides the search results themselves, Bing offers other features that help better organize the search experience, including an “Explore Pane” which helps guide your search by letting you filter the results by various search verticals (images, video, shopping, etc.). It also has a “related searches” section which can help you find a better query and beneath that, a search history section where you can easily recall past searches.

Making Decisions

As to why Bing’s being called a “decision engine,” that has more to do with how it will help people make key decisions in the following areas: shopping, travel, local business and info, and health-related research. Queries in each of these areas will reveal specialized Bing features that will help make the process of making a decision easier.

For example, a Sentiment Extraction engine will scour user reviews and expert opinions to show whether that product you’re shopping for is worth the money.

sentimentExtraction_print

If searching for travel, Bing compares the location, price and amenities of multiple hotels and provides a color-coded key of the best values. Also, a Price Predictor actually helps you decide when it’s the best time to buy an airline ticket in order to get the lowest price. These are featured carried over from Microsoft’s acquisition of Farecast, it’s just now better integrated into the search experience.

Videos & Pictures

You have to wait until June 3rd before you can try Bing for yourself, but in the meantime, you can check out some Bing screenshots here and watch videos on BehindBing.com.

When Bing launches, the URL will simply be www.bing.com – no more “Live search.”

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  • John EllisJohn Ellis

    I can't help but feel that Microsoft keeps promising the world and delivering something less. I use live.com and I love it, the reason I don't use Google is because I genuinely prefer the results I get from Live and any improvement is welcome but that doesn't mean that a relaunch is going to make any difference.

    1. The adverts in the launch campaign better make sure people know this is a SEARCH engine, and a better one, not just some strange portal for deals and health information. My sister watched the Bing.com video and asked why anybody would go on it... that isn't good.

    2. It's incredible how much we ignore the trends of usage of the internet today, and that goes for all search engines. I will change provider in a heart beat if one of the big players manges to figure this out. The internet in the last 5 years has become a MEDIA portal, and nothing addresses this properly. Microsoft does the best job at concept searching, by which I mean if I search for answers it's the place to go. Google is a good medium place, whilst Yahoo is getting better in all areas. The other area being MEDIA...music, movies, books, podcasts if I am searching for these things you better give me it. Let me discuss the examples...

    (2a) Podcasts- If I search for "Windows Weekly", I want the cover art, the link to the last show, the description, the hosts, a link to the Official site and I want to be able to preview the last episode right there at the top of the results and if I wanted to I should be able to add it to my Zune or iTunes podcasts. It's relevant, and most of all Microsoft has an index of Podcasts at their disposal from the Zune marketplace... why not utilise it? It would also encourage producers to add their podcasts to the directory. Win win and none of the other big three have such a directory already.

    (2b) Music- if I search for "I'm not sick, but I'm not well" it's a lyric, yet a search on live.com gives me Blink 182 links... it's NOT blink 182... it's Harvey Danger. Yahoo owns a lyrics database and MS should do the same, so if I search for some lyrics I get the album, the artist, the homepage, links to buy music of Zune, itunes or amazon... MS gets cashback. And what if I search for an artist? Again MS has that information from Zune Marketplace... it's ALREADY THERE.

    (2c) Movies- a search of a cinematic release should show me review scores, cast details, synopsis, a link or local cinemas, official sites etc. Released DVDs should provide Netflix or Lovefilm links, marketplace links etc No such database is owned by MS, but Yahoo has one.. copy them for gods sake.

    (2d) TV- show titles like "My name is Earl" should have schedule information, links to onDemand services or Marketplaces, official sites, cast members. Again Zune has this database to some extent.

    (2e) And what about companies? Car manufacturers etc... it would be great to see links to them, I mean we can get their stock values at present... work on it!

    Can you imagine people rejecting such a search engine? One with semantic search for the questions and useful details for the "things"- the media, the objects the entertainment... the thing we all crave and constantly use the internet for. A portal for our daily persuits not a solution finder for our once-in-a-whiles.

  • John EllisJohn Ellis

    I can't help but feel that Microsoft keeps promising the world and delivering something less. I use live.com and I love it, the reason I don't use Google is because I genuinely prefer the results I get from Live and any improvement is welcome but that doesn't mean that a relaunch is going to make any difference.

    1. The adverts in the launch campaign better make sure people know this is a SEARCH engine, and a better one, not just some strange portal for deals and health information. My sister watched the Bing.com video and asked why anybody would go on it... that isn't good.

    2. It's incredible how much we ignore the trends of usage of the internet today, and that goes for all search engines. I will change provider in a heart beat if one of the big players manges to figure this out. The internet in the last 5 years has become a MEDIA portal, and nothing addresses this properly. Microsoft does the best job at concept searching, by which I mean if I search for answers it's the place to go. Google is a good medium place, whilst Yahoo is getting better in all areas. The other area being MEDIA...music, movies, books, podcasts if I am searching for these things you better give me it. Let me discuss the examples...

    (2a) Podcasts- If I search for "Windows Weekly", I want the cover art, the link to the last show, the description, the hosts, a link to the Official site and I want to be able to preview the last episode right there at the top of the results and if I wanted to I should be able to add it to my Zune or iTunes podcasts. It's relevant, and most of all Microsoft has an index of Podcasts at their disposal from the Zune marketplace... why not utilise it? It would also encourage producers to add their podcasts to the directory. Win win and none of the other big three have such a directory already.

    (2b) Music- if I search for "I'm not sick, but I'm not well" it's a lyric, yet a search on live.com gives me Blink 182 links... it's NOT blink 182... it's Harvey Danger. Yahoo owns a lyrics database and MS should do the same, so if I search for some lyrics I get the album, the artist, the homepage, links to buy music of Zune, itunes or amazon... MS gets cashback. And what if I search for an artist? Again MS has that information from Zune Marketplace... it's ALREADY THERE.

    (2c) Movies- a search of a cinematic release should show me review scores, cast details, synopsis, a link or local cinemas, official sites etc. Released DVDs should provide Netflix or Lovefilm links, marketplace links etc No such database is owned by MS, but Yahoo has one.. copy them for gods sake.

    (2d) TV- show titles like "My name is Earl" should have schedule information, links to onDemand services or Marketplaces, official sites, cast members. Again Zune has this database to some extent.

    (2e) And what about companies? Car manufacturers etc... it would be great to see links to them, I mean we can get their stock values at present... work on it!

    Can you imagine people rejecting such a search engine? One with semantic search for the questions and useful details for the "things"- the media, the objects the entertainment... the thing we all crave and constantly use the internet for. A portal for our daily persuits not a solution finder for our once-in-a-whiles.

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