I was sent an email invitation to try the new Bing this morning. My default search engine is Google, but I am willing to try something different if it is better. So I clicked on the Try the new Bing. First in order to get the full Bing experience you have to sign in either by using your Windows Live or your Xbox Rewards account and you also have to connect Facebook. I signed in with my Windows Live account and connected Facebook. Now when I search for something using Bing on the left hand side of the window is a grey tab which shows if any of my friends on Facebook have posted anything on the subject on Facebook. It will only show likes, post and photos that they posted publicly. You can also send a question to your friends on Facebook from the same tab.
To be honest the new Bing is a little disappointing, since it only connects to Facebook directly. If you do a search and your friends don’t use Facebook than none of their suggestions show up. There is a limited connection to Twitter, but not surprising there is no connection to Google Plus If you do a general search for movies, then you get two sections Friends who might Know and People who Know. Under People who Know you see tweets from people like Roger Ebert on the subject. So far the subject movies is the only search that has brought up People Who Know section. I hope that is just a temporary situation, because I am more interested in what Roger Ebert thinks about a specific movie rather than what he thinks of movies in general. This would be true of any subject and expert. Most other searches I tried have been fairly weak on the social connections. Part of the problem I will admit is I don’t have a lot of connections on Facebook, however based on my reading I am not the only one that ran into this problem.
The new Bing does have somethings going for it, first the social interaction is to the side and it doesn’t interfere with normal search. Second you can close or open the search column by hitting the arrow on the top right side. I suspect despite these good points, I will continue using Google as my main search engine.