Monday, June 01, 2009

Getting Binged

The word on the web is the launch of Microsoft's new search engine Bing. From what the news articles on the web are pointing out, it's Microsoft's attempt to catch up and pass Yahoo. If this is true, then it's a gainable objective, if they decide to take on Google, they are probably at least ten years too late for that to happen.

Of course, this is not Microsoft's first attempt at a browser, they've had a few in the past conneted with good old MSN. If you can remember how bad that was, you know that it did nothing to enhance Microsoft in the Internet world. Mind you, throughout the 90's and this decade, people have been convinced there is something wrong with Microsoft. They are the Evil Empire of the Computer. This is not to say they haven't done some clunks; such as the fact Bill Gates himself dismissed the Internet and then there is that little Anti-Trust problem. As you know it had to do with the fact that Internet Explorer was bundled with Windows 95 and so the average user simply went to it by default. This destroyed Netscape and gave IE a market share that was very high.

So Microsoft has had a bad reputation, which wasn't enhanced by Windows Vista. In fact a recent Time article, which I mentioned in my last blog declared it to be a technological lemon, up there with satellite radio.

Now it's Bing's time. Some complain that the name is a bit contrived and is:
Google was a stupid name that eventually grew on me. Bing seems to be trying too hard to become a verb.

David Coursey wrote an article that was rather critical of Bing. The title of the article is Microsoft Bing goes Live: So what?
He doesn't trash it totally, rather he finds nothing in it to move from Google:
There's nothing wrong with Bing, so much as there's nothing that makes me feel I've got to have it. Or even want to use it again.On good thing about Bing: At present, there is less advertising on search result pages. My bet is Microsoft very much wants that to change, but for now Bing pages are nicely uncluttered.

From the other camp is coming some very nice reviews, David Dignan wrote: Bing is Live:Nice First Impression. Some are congratulating Steve Ballmer for doing this and jumping the first set date of launch, was it an attempt to catch Google a bit off guard?

What about it? It is neat. There is the blank bar to type and it's surrounded by a very nice photograph. It is fast and seems to get good results. Microsoft claims the algorithms of its' search engine. Jennifer LeClaire wrote:
With Bing, Microsoft is renewing its focus on relevancy. Ipos Insights reports Relevant Products/Services that 66 percent of people are using online search more frequently to make complex decisions. Bing aims to help slice and dice information for that majority.

It wants to help people to make the right decisions with their search and therefore more relevent.

I've tried it a bit of time and like I said, it is a nice picture. One thing that should be done is to allow the user to personalize it with their own photographs and pictures. That would be nice and it's something that is available on a number of webistes and services. Give us a chance to change the background and we will be happy.

The map service is very good. I've used it to look up garden centres and it gives a number of results, with all the information I need. The news is lacking, let's face it, this is one of the places Google rocks. It featues the news on the newsheading. I like the opportunity to glean a large number of news sources to get an understanding of what is happening. If I know what is happening, I simply type the name in the box of Bing, in the news format and I will find the same thing, centred upon that word. It's good to have all those sources, but first of all, it's good to do a search of what is happening out there.

Now the report, would I use Bing? I can see myself doing that. Will it replace Google? Does anyone remember and use Cuil?

With Microsoft's resources it is likely to be more then "just another search engine" but will not be the Google killer. It's okay and that's about it.

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