If you are a Googler like I am, and that probably means almost all of you, then you have to try Microsoft's latest attempt to grab market share away from the preeminent search tool on the web. Microsoft Bing was launched just a few weeks ago and I have been playing with of late as have so many others.
I am a huge fan of so many of the applications that Google has created. So in approaching Bing I almost wanted to experience something negative, another chance to put Microsoft down. But I can't. From the moment you start using Bing you notice how clean the interface is (those mountains sure look appealing) and how many interesting features it provides.
Like Google, Bing lets you enter a word or phrase, group words together in quotes and use '+' signs and other mathematical symbols to construct your search query.
The search results pages are clean, uncluttered and look familiar to Google users but at the same time include some pretty neat features. One is the highlight feature. Drag a mouse over a search result and a box appears to the right with the first few sentences and information from the referenced page.
In addition, your accumulated search history appears on the left-hand side of the page. You can click on any item in the list to see the results of these previous searches.
If you click to see all of your searches to date Bing opens a search history screen that gives you a time and date stamp view of the search queries you have made and the sites you visited during each search. This is pretty cool stuff.
The image search appears similar to Google with two notable exceptions. The anecdotal clutter that accompanies each image is not on display. Instead use your mouse to scroll over an image and the image enlarges along with more information about the image and a link to similar images.
The image search results are all contained on one scrollable page as opposed to Google image results which require you to go from page to page.
Check your video search results without having to preview the entire video. Playback video image segments in Bing just by placing your mouse pointer on the image. No extra clicks required. Another neat video feature allows you to display video results in standard or wide screen formats, sort search results by video length to eliminate undesired results, and even search by source and image resolution.
The map search results are clean and easy to understand because they emulate what Google has already perfected in its search engine.
Bing includes settings for safe search but lacks the sophistication of Google's advanced search capabilities. All in all, Bing is a very satisfying search engine. Only time will tell whether it has the legs to take on Google and make a dent in its search engine dominance.
- Len Rosen
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Len focuses on helping small and new businesses succeed through developing appropriate marketing and sales strategies. Len enjoys mentoring, relishes in getting both arms and feet wet in addressing technology, marketing and sales issues. He understands the drivers impacting business results for today and tomorrow including time-to-market, time-to-revenue, marketing, sales channels and social media.