Monday, 8 June 2009

Microsoft launch new search engine.

Microsoft's new 'decision engine' launched last week - although it's still in beta version in Europe. So what's new here and can it challenge culture king Google?

Choose a Bing-optimised subject and results are sorted by category, along with a menu at the left that lets you refine your search with topics such as Images, Biography, Quotes and News. Search for a product and you get categories including Shopping, Types, Buying Guide and Reviews. Microsoft calls these Web Groups, and although they only cover a small subset of searches, they are a key Bing concept that will be extended in future.

Microsoft calls Bing a decision engine - their aim is to provide weblinks but also to solve the wider task being undertaken. Sentiment extraction is less painful than it sounds and collects reviews and opinions from accross the web and Instant answers is a feature that aims to resolve your question without needing to leave Bing. Type "weather" and you get a summary of weather in the location of your choice now and for the next five days.

Another Bing feature, Best Match, appears after a search with a highly predictable result. Type a company name and Best Match shows the website at the top of the results, with deep links into common destinations on that site, a telephone number, and sometimes a search box that likes to the search engine on the site itself. See some Bing reviews here

Quite a Google gap to bridge especially with Google's new Search Options and Google Squared in testing, but time will tell.....