Search is one area where Microsoft is far behind Google despite their efforts in trying to revamp Windows Live search to counter the dominance of Google. They have not been successful thus far. But in the past few months we have been hearing a lot about Microsoft’s “underground secret-testing” of their new search engine, code-named “Kumo”.
A look into the past
- In 2003, Microsoft passed up the chance to buy search engines Inktomi and Overture (from whom MS contracted search services) and let Yahoo acquire them. With those under rival Yahoo’s wing, Microsoft was forced to build its own search service.
- In 2004, Microsoft launched its own homegrown search engine but MSN search engine failed to gain ground and compete against Yahoo, much less Google.
- In 2008, Microsoft attempted $45 billion hostile takeover of Yahoo. When that ended weakly, the company announced it would start paying consumers to use its search engine.
Looking at the past track record it will be interesting to see if Microsoft can actually come back with a bang with “Kumo” and match up the levels of Google?
A few days back Microsoft announced that it would launch the new search service as BING and would be available at bing.com . If Microsoft is to be believed this new produc will be a “decision engine,” promising to make things like buying a digital camera, booking a flight or searching for a restaurant easier by serving up results based on similar previous searches.
The service was supposed to be launched on June 3rd but it was quietly released on Monday, 2 days earlier. The interface is really colorful, attractive and classy. Although some quick searches delivers results similar to Google, there are some added features on Bing as well, that are yet to be seen on Google.
Bing… What’s New?????
- With Bing, you could view instant excerpts that will allow you to see the contents of a page without actually clicking on it. Simply hover your mouse and read the gist.
- It displays a sidebar detailing all related searches
- Bing allows you to preview videos in search results, which is a great time-saver. By choosing their “list view” option you could get a gist of the video and check if that was the one you were looking for.
- Bing offers an exclusive travel search option as well with the help of which you could easily plan trips, book flights, get instant flight status, find the right hotels, etc.
However Not all the features can be accessed from everywhere. Outside of North America, other localized versions of Bing are missing some features, like search history options, some interactive features on home page, image saving options, etc. You could view the full version of Bing by going to the US (English) version.
Click here to discover Bing’s versions of worldwide search.
So will Bing, the much ballyhooed ‘answer to Google’ make the right noises, considering that Microsoft is planning to spend $80 million to $100 million on ad campaigning to promote Bing! That’s a lot of money. Is it worth it? Have to wait and watch….