Microsoft Bing Search Launches Early Preview

By Wesley Roberts •  Updated: 06/01/09 •  4 min read

Now that Microsoft’s Bing Search has finally hit the streets, as an early preview to the new search engine, what do you think? I’m still not sold on the new search and I’m still finding myself going back to my old ways (Google) of searching the web.

Microsoft officially announced Bing last week at the All Things Digital conference. The new search engine was to provide us a new way of finding content on the Internet and Microsoft’s hope to trump Google’s old, trusted, and reliable search engine.

Bing’s New Tabs

ms bing previewBing was scheduled to go-live on June 3rd but apparently Microsoft wanted to give users an earlier preview of the new search. Bing users will now find tabs for “Web”, “Images”, “Videos”, “Shopping”, “Maps”, and more. By clicking on “More” it will unveil “Local”, “xRank”, “Travel”, and “News”.

Bing xRank vs Google Trends

xRank is one of the tabs that most interested me. When heading to you will be presented with the most popular and gaining searches performed on Bing. This looks all so much familiar.. does Google Trends ring a bell?

Nonetheless, I actually like how the data is presented but I don’t like how you have to scroll through the “top search phrases” 10 at a time.

Google Trends also does a better job at providing alternate and related keyword phrases that I type in. However, I do really enjoy how xRank categories the data – perhaps more categories will be added later, or maybe we can add our own categories – that would be especially handy.

Bing Shopping vs Google Product Search

Bing Shopping has definitely changed for the better since the Live Search days. After spending a couple of hours searching for different products ranging from energy bars to computer accessories, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my results each and every time. when comparing Bing Search to Google’s Product Search (Formally Froogle), I have to hand this one to Microsoft’s Bing.

Not only did I get the results I wanted, but I was also presented with the data which was gathered in a much easier to read interface. I’ll definitely have to use Bing search in the future for products.

Bing CashBack for Bing Shopping

Microsoft has also added what they call Bing Cashback. Bing Cashback works by giving you a certain percentage of “cash back” from certain stores online. The prices you see in Bing Shopping reflect the bottomline price you pay for the product which makes it easy to find out which are the best deals in your results. After buying your CashBack eligible product, Bing will send you your cashback amount in 60 days.

You can find a full listing of all the cash back stores here along with what percentage of cash back you will receive. I think this is a nice addition to the product search that Microsoft is providing and definitely an incentive to use their product.

Bing News vs Google News

For Bing News, you’ll find new features such as thumbnail video’s when you hover over one. You’ll also find it easier to find the news that you’re looking for thanks to the new tabs and dynamic elements incorporated into Bing News. I still find Google News to have the most up-to-date news and I actually find it cleaner and easier to use IMO.

Bing Video is really great because of the new thumbnail video feature. Try searching for E3 at Bing Video and you’ll quickly see how it works. Simply hover over a video and it starts playing instantly.

This is fantastic from the consumer’s point of view but what about the publisher? It’s almost like Microsoft is stepping on their toes by deploying video search in this manner. Would a user still click on the site if they can watch the whole video from within the search results? Fair use definitely comes into mind here. Perhaps there should be a 30second limitation on the “thumbnail preview”?

Legality issues aside, I really enjoy the Bing Video search – and will be using this in the future.

Bing Travel

Microsoft Bing Travel offers a lot that some of the other search engines don’t such as a prediction tool that can easily predict fare prices based on averages. It also tells you flat out if you should buy your ticket today or wait a few days.

We’ve got a full in-depth look at the Bing Travel tool in a previous post. What are your thoughts on the new Bing search? Has it got everything you wanted or hoped for? Has it got enough to make you want to switch?

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