Bing: Microsoft’s Latest Foray Into Search Space

The new search service Bing would go live on 3 June 2009.

In its latest effort to take on its Internet search rival Google, Microsoft has come up with its new search engine Bing, providing customers with, what the company says, a first step in moving beyond search to help make faster, more informed decisions.
Bing is specifically designed to build on the benefits of today’s search engines but begins to move beyond this experience with a new approach to user experience and intuitive tools to help customers make better decisions, focussing initially on four key vertical areas — making a purchase decision, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business.

The result of this new approach is an important beginning for a new and more powerful kind of search service, which Microsoft is calling a Decision Engine, designed to empower people to gain insight and knowledge from the Web, moving more quickly to important decisions. The new service will begin to roll out over the coming days and will be fully deployed worldwide on 3 June 2009.

“Today, search engines do a decent job of helping people navigate the Web and find information, but they don’t do a very good job of enabling people to use the information they find,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft. “When we set out to build Bing, we grounded ourselves in a deep understanding of how people really want to use the Web. Bing is an important first step forward in our long-term effort to deliver innovations in search that enable people to find information quickly and use the information they’ve found to accomplish tasks and make smart decisions.”

According to Stefan Weitz, a director on the Microsoft Search team, Bing was developed around users’ needs, focussing on four key areas: speed, relevance, previews and multi-media.

But it remains to be seen how Internet users will respond to Bing. Will Microsoft’s new search engine be able to give a tough fight to Google, which leads the US search market with 64 per cent and where Microsoft’s share has now shrunk to less than 10 per cent (according to comScore).

The new brand portfolio will include the following changes to existing Microsoft programmes: Microsoft’s mapping platform, Virtual Earth, will now be branded as Bing Maps for Enterprise. Technology from Microsoft’s April 2008 acquisition of Farecast is now a central part of Bing Travel. Also, Microsoft’s cashback programme, now dubbed Bing cashback, with more than 850 merchants and more than 17 million products available, will be fully integrated into the Bing Shopping experience.


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