Microsoft Bing “decision engine” video tour

[flv:http://www.decisionengine.com/media/ProductTour.mov bing.jpg 600 338]

So the wraps came off “Bing” today and Microsoft’s Live Search replacement (and worthy Google competitor) is finally announced. Unfortunately because the service isn’t actually live yet, all the screenshots and blog posts can be pretty overwhelming and won’t make the name or what it is any clearer. Thankfully, here’s a 3-minute long video Microsoft prepared earlier (embedded above) to get you up to speed on this “decision engine”. Happy deciding!

Update: Since Bing.com is now live, I’ve made a search provider plugin which works for both Firefox and Internet Explorer 8 and support search suggestions too, add it by clicking here.

41 insightful thoughts

  1. At first I thought “Bing” sounded lousy, but I have gotten used to the word and it doesn’t seem all that bad…

  2. It looks interesting (in the video) but will have to see how it does when I try it (when it goes live). I don’t like the name though. Bing? Kumo wasn’t better but at least it soundede better than Bing. Bing it! does sound better than Kumo it!

  3. I like the direction they’re heading with this. Let’s be honest… there is a LOT of room for improvement in the “search engine” (ahem…. “decision engine”) field. Google isn’t perfect, and neither are Live, Yahoo!, or any others. Getting the ‘top results’ only is beginning to be a bit passe. I like how they are providing “filters” for results, which really makes a lot of sense. Do you use NewEgg? Their prices and service are great, but their “filtered” search — drilling down — is really what I value most. I also like how Bing is able to offer reviews in some cases. Do you use Amazon? Their prices are ok, but their reviews are the most valuable asset they posess, in my opinion.

    Just some examples of how “search” can (and should) be improved. Hopefully Bing really goes that direction!

    (Note: I like the name, personally.)

  4. Bing? The logo and pronunciation is horribe! Obviously Microsoft did’t hire the same team that brought up the amazing Zune, Surface and .Net rebranding.

  5. I’m underwhelmed. It seems like this is really just a combination of services already offered rather than a innovative approach to search.

    And yes, bing is going to take a long time to get used to.

    It pains me to see Microsoft try all of these “hip” names.

  6. You know what advance marketing videos do really well? Let you down when you go to the site and see a “coming soon” message.

  7. What’s wrong with Bing? I think it works fine as a verb and isn’t a bad name.

    Anyway, I’m sure this will fade into the background just like all the other Google competitors. Even if it is better, people are just use to Google. The best anybody else can hope for is a cult following. Although I might switch to Bing, you never know. It might be good.

  8. I love Microsoft and I want to see them succeed but I think they’re fighting a losing battle they will never win. Google is sooooo much more fruitful for me in ways I’ve yet to ever find in any other search engine (and trust me, I’ve tried just about every remotely noteworthy engine out there). As far as this promotional video goes, I don’t fall in the Bing demographic whatsoever. It appears to do not a *single thing* that I personally use Google for, but I’m sure my demographic is an insignificant one.

    Put simply, Google has become my Windows, in that, Bing – like Linux or OSX – may provide different functionality that one may find useful, but at the core, it’s exactly what I already have and love using. Good luck to Microsoft with peddling Bing to the masses in a manner that will make them feel as though they need it, because I’m not sure they even want it. Google leaves little-to-nothing to be desired in regards to what a person wants out of a search engine – much less, what a person needs.

    For there to ever truly be a search engine that gives Google a run for its money, said search engine needs to do EVERYTHING that Google does and THEN some; i.e. yielding better results, yielding MORE results (depending on how you’re leveraging the search engine), and making it easier. I don’t see that one happening anytime soon, though, if ever…

    -Stephen

  9. If somebody in 1998 told you that we’d use Google as a verb ten years later, no on would’ve believed you either. “Just Google it? That doesn’t work at all, it sounds too awkward.”

    That said, I’m not that keen on the name, but I’m curious to find out how it’ll work. And if they’ll roll out worldwide. Those picture backgrounds remind me of the awesome Live Search backgrounds I keep reading about but never see because apparently they’re US only or something. I can easily see them go “Bing is ready for a US release this week, with further announcements to follow,” which is how they manage to cripple all their decent products lately.

  10. It looks promising atleast for american users, but like Live search it will probably be EXTREMLY limited to europeans. Don’t get why Microsoft’s just going for the american market, although I understand it would require alot of work to get providers and such for all european countries, but I would really like to do all this stuff as a Swede.

  11. For you guys saying that the war is already lost for any competitor in the search ( … deeecision) field, don’t forget that a HUGE marketing campaign will be backing this up. Google aren’t doing any ads for their search engine because they take it for granted, and I won’t be surprised if a big ad campaign by MS shakes their foundations.

  12. what’s interesting to note is that Google’s Intranet search works very similar to Bling. ahm, I mean Bing.

    I wonder if Google might have already thought about something like Bing but decided it would make search to complex. Perhaps we will see Google+ shortly which will offer similar features.

    It will be interesting to see how well Bing will work for people out side the US.

    Btw, if people want to see a demo go to the Wall Street Journal D7 web site: http://online.wsj.com/video/d7-video-microsoft-ballmer-on-bing/B6291873-95A2-4164-9006-F1D5589CCAD9.html

  13. I’m thinking the same thing as Sebastian. The whole user reviews, find the customer support number, find the manufacturer’s website thing sounds great, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it only works in the US, with the rest of the world simply getting run of the mill Live search results.

  14. The BBC have a good report about Bing, interviewing a guy from Microsoft UK
    “Mr Stoddart said the UK version of Bing was launching later than the US because Microsoft was busy finding the “best of breed” in web services specific to the UK that it could add into search engine results. ”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8070790.stm

    So I guess they are lookingseriously at the global market. I never culd understand why the UK didn’t get the backgrounds? Who cares if tey were US related, they still looked good.

  15. I guess they’re looking seriously at the -UK- market. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the ‘international’ thing about this simply means “Canada, UK and France.”

  16. Very cool! It reminds me of askx.com, only refined tenfold. Looks very promising.

    It’s been a very interesting week… first Google Wave, now this. I’m getting impressed like I haven’t been in quite a while.

    (On a side note, what’s with every seeking engine :P nowadays formatting search results *just like* Google? — i.e., blue links, green URLs, three lines of black-colored snippets… Not that Google has patented that, but I find the “coincidence” a little, um, strange.)

  17. Well well well:

    “We asked Stefan Weitz about how much of Bing would be available worldwide, and indeed some of the Shopping and Travel features will remain US only for the time being. However he said that their worldwide strategy is “aggressive”, and there are search centers in Europe and Asia working on better international experiences.” (From LiveSide)

    In other words: this is a US only thing, and the rest of the world gets a pale shadow. Until proven wrong, I’ll take that statement about the worldwide strategy being aggresive in the same light as the statement about European Xbox Live being “comparable to the US”: total BS.

  18. @Abel

    Google Wave doesn’t excite me… but then I could be wrong. I just think that it’s Google trying AGAIN to take over the chat/email/social networking market… with another poorly thought out idea. Engineers should build software, not design it.

  19. Well the look is certainly cheerful and makes me feel “a large world” of information available to me (I feel insecure and depressed when using a search engine that makes me feel there’s lot more out there but it isn’t showing me everything), besides relevance is what would matter. It really has to succeed at helping me find more images in Image search than Google, the correct working rapidshare links of warez and “digital memories”, the kind of porn I’m looking for minus the spam in search results and discovering good new websites/blogs/forums/domains. And speed too. No Javascript bloating the page too much interactiveness, I want clean HTML-based result pages.

  20. We agree on that — I too found Wave’s UI too… er… I’ll settle with just “crowded”. But then again, I was talking about its potential capabilities, not the looks — Gmail is no Miss World and I love it all the same.

  21. I’m not sure if this is true for everyone, but Bing is live for me now using Safari on Mac, so it may be for you all too.

  22. Also, I just noticed something pretty cool about it: When i searched for “bike shops” in the “local section”, it listed the neighborhood of each shop. Pretty useful in a sprawling town like Los Angeles.

    It does need a little bit of work, though. Some bike shops were categorized as “Grocers.” Huh? :)

  23. I can’t believe it; it looks exactly the same as Google, with an image in the top left. The header row options, the colors in use, the sponsored links boxes… you couldn’t clone Google any better if you used a screenshot. Why can’t Microsoft be innovative for a change, and think of their own layout?

  24. See this is just “live search” unless you live in USA.
    Bing brings nothing new to us in Australia….

  25. @Andy, actually the color scheme Bing is using is the same nearly the same as every major search engine. Try Yahoo, Ask, Excite, DogPile, and even Lycos to see very similar results. I’m no Microsoft fan but Bing does win in the internet Porn category. If you click on Bing Videos and search for a graphic term (such as “Sasha Grey”) you’ll get unsolicited access to hundreds and thousands of porn videos. The videos will play within the Bing frame and you will not be directed to the ‘shady’ website, avoid ads and pesky pop-up windows.

    It’s fairly interesting but this is going to be a big issue!

    Another observation is try searching for “Vixta.” It’s a Linux distro and Bing will return the Vista home page as the first result, where all other engines return the Vixta source-forge page… Oh MS…

  26. I use both Bing and Google search engine and i dont see much difference in their search results. I use google for searching hard to find academic topics and Bing for general search.

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