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Bing

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 11:10 AM on June 2, 2009

Microsoft has recently come out with its latest attempt at a search engine to counter Google. The result in called Bing. Microsoft insist that it is not a search engine, but a decision engine. It is unclear what the difference is and the name itself leaves a lot to be desire. That being said, Bing is worth a look at and I have add it to my search engine list.  If you are on Firefox there is an add on which will adds Bing to your search engine list. 

Yesterday I did a news search for the Air France airbus crash and when I searched by time and Bing searches were in order with the most recent one first. Google search by time was slightly out of order. Also on some searches Bing seems to be picking them up faster. On the same API story, Bing had it about 10 minutes ahead of Google. For most people this probably is not that in important. However the closer it gets to real time, the better it is. 

    Bing image search appears to use Light box or something like it, when you mouse over an image it pops out and gives you the url for the picture.  If you click on the image it takes you to the original url and shows related images on the side. You can limit your search by size, black or white or color, whether its a photo or illustration and finally by shape.     If you are searching for a person in image search you can easily limit the search to face only or by face and shoulder or everything.  

The video search engine is also intriquing. The video are playable simply by mousing over the video.  You can also limit the video by length, screen size and resolution.  If you only want to search a certain source you can do that to also as long as the source is listed on left hand side.  Hopefully, as time goes on they will add more video sources such as Vimeo and Quik, but it is not a bad start.  You can also browse for top videos including clips from TV shows, news and music videos . The only thing I have not figured out is how to stop the video once its starts playing. It is a little weak when it comes to maps. The map and the directions themselves are fine. The one thing that Goolge has that makes it better is that it integrates images along with the map. Bing does not do this. The shopping search seems to emphasis the sites which participate in a Cash Back Program, which is not something I am necessarily interested in.

Bing is not a bad search engine. However, other then the video and image special capabilities that I like a lot, there is nothing that will make the average person use it over Google.   I also found a couple of glitches while doing some searches.  I did a search for Lancaster Central Market.  The general search and images all hit the mark.   However when I did the same search under video  I got videos  for a house credit story and several others which had absolutely nothing to do with the Lancaster Central market.   Another glitch that was pointed out by the Leo Laporte on Macbreak Weekly  is if you do a search for the Palm Pre  under related search you get Palm tree items.  These are  glitches that need to be fixed, but they are to be expected in a beta release.