Microsoft Bing: Review

August 15, 2009 / Updated: August 15, 2009 / Lena Shore
Filed under:

If you are trying to make heads or tails of Microsoft’s new Bing search engine, you can read some quick reviews and then scroll to the bottom to watch this review by David Pogue to get you up to speed.

Fact Sheet

  • Bing is Microsoft’s new search engine.
  • The cost $80 million… to market.
  • Bing is meant to be a more competitive product than Live Search, Microsoft’s previous search engine.

The Good

  • Pretty stock photography greets you on the page.
  • Organizes searches into categories.
  • Clicking on category links will allow you to drill down to more specific results.
  • More results will display at once.
  • Keeps your search history for 48 hours… even longer if you use Silverlight and have a Windows Live account.
  • Best Match: For some searches Microsoft will try to assume it knows what you are looking for and will give you a main link with lots of little sublinks to that searched query.
  • Hover next to the right of any result and get a preview of what is on the page.
  • Infinite scroll of images: When you do an image search in Google, you have to flip through multiple pages. With Bing, you can just keep scrolling. It will pull new images for you on the fly as you scroll.
  • Instant Answers: If you type in certain queries, like “Kentucky Derby Results” the scores will show up at the top of the page. You can also get flight numbers, airline tracking information, and a ski report in a similar

The Not So Good

  • Large photo greets you on the front page that could be a problem for slower internet connections.
  • Not all searches will have categories.
  • Some have labeled it “busy”.
  • Search history still isn’t as good as Google’s. (Although Microsoft claims this will improve over time.)
  • Best Match: For some searches Microsoft will try to assume it knows what you are looking for and will often be wrong.

Top Features: Bing vs. Google vs. Yahoo

  • Home pages: Bing is the prettiest with it’s stunning photography. Google is the most simple and clean. Yahoo is the busiest.
  • Search results: Google has the most, but Bing is prettier doing it.
  • Popular Searches: Bing wins with it’s categories and mix of web links and images
  • Airfare Search: Bing wins with locating the best and least inexpensive flights.
  • Hotel Search: Yahoo wins with it’s addition of Travel service, price range, and “good deal” tags that are current.
  • Refining Search Results: Bing wins with it’s Explorer pane showing up on every window.
  • Video Results: Bing wins for  being slicker.
  • Shopping: Yahoo wins with the most information on reviews, comparison pricing, and product specifics.
  • Going Local: Searching for local results gets you more different types of results with Bing.
  • Health Search: Shortcuts to top-notch health resources – Yahoo wins with more information, videos and details.
  • Map Search: Google wins with all it’s options for directions and controls.

My Bottom Line

Bing is new. It’s not going to have the return on results that Google has. But it is pretty and has some nice features in terms of accessing that information. To me Yahoo wants to be the end-all be-all in your internet travels and is just too cluttered for my tastes. But, if you like all your choices on one page, it might be the search engine for you.

The bottom line in weighing all the pros and cons is “how do you want to search” and “what do you expect”. Give it a try next week and see how you like it!