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Microsoft unleashes Bing to counter Google


Latest update : 2009-05-28

US software giant Microsoft has unveiled its new search engine, Bing, a new search engine to compete against the hugely dominant Google. Bing should be available online on May 1 in the United States.

AFP - Microsoft on Thursday unveiled a new search engine, Bing, designed to intuitively understand what people are searching for on the Internet and challenge online king Google.

The US software colossus refers to Bing as a "Decision Engine" and said it will have it deployed worldwide at by Wednesday.

"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 Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

"When we set out to build Bing, we grounded ourselves in a deep understanding of how people really want to use the Web."

Bing search employs semantic technology intended to help it recognize not just key words but what is intended by phrases typed in as online queries, according to Microsoft.

Internet search engines have traditionally relied on matching key words to words found at websites.

Bing is built to "go beyond today's search experience" by recognizing content and adapting to query types, according to the Redmond, Washington-based company.

Bing takes aim at Microsoft arch-rival Google, which dominates the online search market. Bing will replace MSN Live search, which has languished in a distant third place behind Google and Yahoo!

"Microsoft's Bing will change the face of search," Forrester analyst Shar VanBoskirk proclaimed in a blog post at the technology-tracking firm's website.

"Bing focuses on delivering answers, not Web pages."

Bing gives Microsoft "a leg up" on competitors but is more likely to lure users from Yahoo! than Google because "Google is too much of a habit for everyone," according to VanBoskirk.

The search engine is aimed at online shoppers and will initially focus on helping people make buying decisions, plan trips, research health matters, or find local businesses.

For example, people using Bing to shop online will automatically be provided product reviews and those planning trips will get information regarding travel bargains, according to Microsoft.

Bing has a "Best Match" feature that identifies and gives high priority to answers that seem to best fit queries.

The search technology delves into websites to reveal what they have to offer and summarizes information in easily scanned preview boxes.

Bing also provides an "Instant Answers" feature that gives searchers what it deduces to be the most desired information on results pages.

Bing is designed to "help people more easily navigate through the information overload that has come to characterize many of today's search experiences," Microsoft said.

Microsoft cited study results indicating that an estimated 30 percent of online searches are abandoned out of frustration and that searchers often fail to get what they seek on a first try.

"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," Ballmer said.

Forrester expects Yahoo! and Google to adapt their search services to follow Microsoft's lead, according to VanBoskirk.

Faster, better focused search results for online shoppers should also make Internet advertising more attractive to businesses.

"As a decision engine, Bing introduces a search engine that actually delivers Web content without sending users away to other destination sites," VanBoskirk wrote.

"We expect consumers to frequent Bing (and other similar search engines in its wake) instead of other portals (Yahoo!) and preferred destination sites."

Date created : 2009-05-28