If you’ve been on Hotmail recently you’ve probably noticed that Live Search is no more! It’s been replaced by Bing (http://www.bing.com), which, according to Microsoft, is a “decision engine”. Once again, the software giant has rebranded its search engine, completely separating it from the Windows Live group of services. Let’s take a look inside!
Traditionally, search engines have just been a method of finding the material you want located on other websites. Bing is moving away from this and appears to have the information, and no longer just points to where you can find it. For example, if I wanted to find flights between Ft. Lauderdale and Dallas (Fort Worth), I would type “FLL to DFW flights” into Bing . A small box will appear with links to Bing Travel, another one of the search engine’s services.
Click the route name and all the information you need about fares is at your fingertips. Whilst these services are available on other sites, it just goes to show that search engines don’t just point to relevant sites anymore!
Another interesting feature of Bing is the Restaurants Scorecard. Using the example provided on the Bing website to demonstrate this feature (‘Wolfgang Puck’ in Las Vegas) and clicking on the first listing that appears, we can see reviews for that restaurant.
Bing also incorporates some of the features Google has in its search engine offering. For example, users can enter in mathematical problems to obtain answers. However, Bing goes one step further than Google as it allows users to enter in algebra as well…
Like Google, you can also obtain stock quotes from Bing. Simply type in the stock ticker symbol (it’s a string of about three or four letters) and information about the company on the stock exchange will appear. Interestingly, you can also get information from MSN Money’s news service directly underneath the numbers.
Another feature of Bing is the reference tab. If I wanted information on Netscape Navigator, I’d type ‘Netscape Navigator’ into Bing and click the Reference link that appears on the left-hand side of the page.
A Wikipedia article on Netscape presents itself to you! See what I mean when I say Bing is moving away from just being a search engine?
While I don’t know if Bing is going to become a ‘Google killer’, I think it could be successful in becoming a bit more competitive than Microsoft’s previous offerings. Whichever search engine you choose, I wish you happy searching!