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June 1, 2009 6:46 AM   Subscribe

Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, goes beta. Cribbed from live.com, the layout for bing is... strangely familiar. Early reviews are mixed, with mixed results, mostly noting that the results less useful than google, especially when it comes to google.
posted by boo_radley (173 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Kudos for the title. Also, they can take Google out of my default browser search thingie when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.
posted by jquinby at 6:51 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Holy jeezum, that thing is ugly. I can barely read the text. What's with the balloons?

I figured MS was going to bow out of the search game, not spend a few billion dollars on it. Our website gets about 6% of it's traffic from MS, uh, Live? Is that what it was called? And with all of Google's extras (Gmail, Docs etc etc.), it's not just a search engine. It's a life engine! Focusing on just the search end of the package is missing the point.
posted by GilloD at 6:51 AM on June 1, 2009




I can't stand MS software in general, but this actually has gotten one UI thing right: I can right-click on a search result, copy the link and it'll be right. I find it endlessly annoying that I can't do this on Google.
posted by DU at 6:54 AM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Named after Crosby?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:55 AM on June 1, 2009


It's called Bing?


BING?


Christ.
posted by Brockles at 6:56 AM on June 1, 2009


But. It's. Not. Google.
posted by sexymofo at 6:56 AM on June 1, 2009 [41 favorites]


flapjax at midnite: "Named after Crosby?"

Bing Is Not Google?
posted by boo_radley at 6:57 AM on June 1, 2009 [11 favorites]


I've been pleasantly surprised by it so far. The news layout is better than Google's, IMO.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:57 AM on June 1, 2009


dammit.
posted by boo_radley at 6:57 AM on June 1, 2009


Search for 'metafilter' and Fark tops the related list. Bada bing, bada FAIL.
posted by permafrost at 7:01 AM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


I searched and got.. a list of results.

I thought this was supposed to be revolutionary.
posted by Plutor at 7:02 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well it brings up my website first choice for 'fearful symmetry' so obviously it rules... unlike G**gl* with its wikpedia Blake rubbish...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:04 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


'maps' just takes you to multimap... urg, horrible
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:05 AM on June 1, 2009


Their logo design is awful, the background images are pointless, and 'Bing' makes me think of Crosby.
Keep it simple. Futura Bold, ditch the orange.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:07 AM on June 1, 2009


It's called Bing?


BING?



I've been pondering this, too. I think the name is meant to evoke the stereotypical sound that a machine might make when it's done doing whatever it does...

Microwave is done> BING!

Many applications make a "BING!" sound, too. I think Toast does this. I believe the name is meant to evoke this sort of "I've finished this task for you!" idea.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:08 AM on June 1, 2009


It's like the newer zune. It's not all that much worse than the market leader.. But why bother changing? Being pretty much the same as the market leader is insufficient when you aren't the market leader.
posted by I Foody at 7:09 AM on June 1, 2009 [9 favorites]


Yeah, but that's "Ding!" or "Beep!" or "Dong!".

Not cherries or singers your grandpa listens to.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:10 AM on June 1, 2009


Well, you see, it's revolutionary because it has results grouped into broad categories:
  • Web
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Shopping
  • Maps
  • More
This is clearly quite different than google because
posted by boo_radley at 7:10 AM on June 1, 2009


I've been assuming that the name came from this.
posted by interrobang at 7:10 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


What is the point of that last link? The bing search for google returned the google home page.
posted by rocket88 at 7:10 AM on June 1, 2009


In all seriousness, the image search functionality is very impressive.
posted by fusinski at 7:10 AM on June 1, 2009


It's the search engine that goes BING!
posted by daniel_charms at 7:10 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's a 'zune'?
posted by i_cola at 7:10 AM on June 1, 2009


Amplify the BING machine!
posted by DU at 7:13 AM on June 1, 2009


Nice balloons in the background. What is this, CorelDraw?
posted by silkyd at 7:13 AM on June 1, 2009 [10 favorites]


At least for my neighborhood, the 'bird's eye' map view is outdated by about two and a half years.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:13 AM on June 1, 2009


When Microsoft attempts to clone someone else's thing, the main differentiators are that it's not as good and it belongs to Microsoft.

You know who will use this? The same people who use IE because it's the default and don't change the homepage: really dumb people. Bing will be the default in IE which will be the default in Windows 7. And that's their whole business model right there, "Bob" bless 'em.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:14 AM on June 1, 2009 [8 favorites]


I preferred Ms. Dewey. If you're going to give me a so-so search engine, at least having Janina Gavankar to snark away at least made it entertaining.
posted by yeloson at 7:14 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Live Search only had any usage at all because they started making it the default search on the IE7 search box. MS is being ridiculous to keep pushing their own search. And, given that I can't even access bing.com right now, I don't see a very rosy future for this venture.
posted by graymouser at 7:18 AM on June 1, 2009



Yeah, but that's "Ding!" or "Beep!" or "Dong!".

Not cherries or singers your grandpa listens to.


Calling their search engine 'dong' would have other associations.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:18 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is clearly quite different than google because

If you run the query "Albuquerque," it puts links on the side to run the queries "Albuquerque jobs" "Albuquerque weather" so you don't have to type like a sucker. My world, revolutionized.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:18 AM on June 1, 2009


At least for my neighborhood, the 'bird's eye' map view is outdated by about two and a half years.

That's pretty standard for aerial photos, no matter who is providing them. Google doesn't even have a bird's eye view, right?
posted by smackfu at 7:19 AM on June 1, 2009


I suppose they figure that Street View is superior to bird's eye view, but it would be nice to have both, especially in places where Street View has not yet permeated.
posted by blucevalo at 7:23 AM on June 1, 2009


'Bing' makes me think of Crosby.

Wii makes me think of piss, and look how that turned out.
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:24 AM on June 1, 2009


"Bing" makes me think of the sound my computer makes when I get a Gchat message.

But seriously that layout hurts my eyes. I don't even know where to start as a user. This page does not tell me at all what it is I'm supposed to do or what it does. As a professional UX designer I am seriously offended.

Did anyone else notice that if you mouse over the background image you get tidbits of weird information. Oh I see, the background image changes... daily? And you need to install Silverlight to see past images...

Ugh.. this is what it looks like when a huge company tries to be innovative.
posted by like_neon at 7:25 AM on June 1, 2009


The third result for my vanity search is the Wikipedia article on Satanic Ritual Abuse. WTF?
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:25 AM on June 1, 2009


That's pretty standard for aerial photos, no matter who is providing them. Google doesn't even have a bird's eye view, right?

Google's satellite view (which is technically different, because it's mostly a straight-overhead view rather than the sort of isometric thing Bing has going) is fairly current (again, sample size: my neighborhood). There's a big ugly castle someone built on the corner of the block that someone's been building for the last two years, is how I can tell.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:25 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


(Bing's 'aerial view' is from the same time as their bird's-eye)
posted by shakespeherian at 7:26 AM on June 1, 2009


My 2¢.
posted by Mister_A at 7:27 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


When I think of Bing, I think of Stanley Bing, the Fortune magazine columnist. Whatever.

I think it's nice, and it has a lovely background image that changes. But I still don't get why anyone, Microsoft included, would even bother to compete in the search engine business if you have nothing innovative to show other than a daily image and a striking name. Sure, there's probably some sweet stuff I don't know about, but it's Web 2.0! We don't care about your stuff under the hood. Give me something bizarre. Give me something eccentric. Give me something I'll never find in any other search engine
posted by Michael Leung at 7:28 AM on June 1, 2009


rocket88: "What is the point of that last link?"

Compare that link to Bing's results for MS or Apple, or Google's results for MS, Apple or Google.
posted by boo_radley at 7:30 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like it, but you can't tell with these things until you give them a thorough workout. I think most of the snark here comes from MS prejudice. Some people have the hate on for MS so much that even if MS revolutionized the search engine those people would still find something to complain about. As one of the guys at CNET said, "Google keeps improving in the area of in-search collation and display as well, but Bing makes Google look complacent, and that's not good for Google. " I chafe at the bit of Google hegemony and welcome the strong new entrants into this sphere.
posted by caddis at 7:31 AM on June 1, 2009


But It's Not Google
posted by b1tr0t at 7:32 AM on June 1, 2009


"The following complaint in the case of Google v. Microsoft alleges 5 counts of patent infringement..."
"But Your Honor, it's called Bing. 'Bing Is Not Google?'"
"Too true. No objections? Okay, case dismissed."
posted by naju at 7:36 AM on June 1, 2009


I've been assuming that the name came from this

Hah, beat me to it...Bing again!!
posted by samsara at 7:40 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whoa, I can see myself (I think) in the isometric "bird's eye" view of my house. And the image is only a few months old, I think.
posted by DU at 7:40 AM on June 1, 2009


I feel bad for the Microsoft search team. They've been working hard, for years, and have built a pretty good search engine. It's fast, and the results are good, and the index is comprehensive. But no one will ever use it. Because it's not Google™. I feel less bad for Yahoo, because they were in a strong position and slowly lost it. But the Microsoft guys never really got a chance. Heck, the monopoly control over desktop software didn't even help them.

We'd all be a lot better off if Google had viable competition for every service it offers. As great as Google's stuff is today, someone needs to push them to keep it good, or make it better. Some of the products - search engine, ad network - are too big and expensive for a small startup to easily challenge.
posted by Nelson at 7:48 AM on June 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Horrendous name

Horrendous logo

Horrendous design

Horrendous results.

Like a lot of what Microsoft do, it's like a parody of Microsoft.
posted by fire&wings at 7:50 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Calling their search engine 'dong' would have other associations.

Yeah, maybe then I'd actually use it.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:52 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why that? That's the machine that goes "bing!"

It's the most expensive machine on the entire Internet.
posted by Malor at 7:56 AM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


FUCKING MICROSOFT TRYING TO REMAIN MARKET RELEVANT. FUCK THOSE ASSHOLES.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 7:58 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll use Google or Yahoo still. For the main reason that I am use to typing those in. Plus they are already on my bookmark bar thingie.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:00 AM on June 1, 2009


Bing will be on lots of peoples' toolbar thingies in the near future.
posted by Mister_A at 8:05 AM on June 1, 2009


Nice security Microsoft, reddit users have already cracked and published the Bing search algorithm.
posted by Science! at 8:06 AM on June 1, 2009


Well, if it's endorsed by Shane MacGowan I'm all for it.
posted by Mister_A at 8:09 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right before checking metafilter, I was searching for the website of the embassy of Mexico in London. So I typed 'Mexico embassy london'

Google gave me the correct website and even a useful map and phone number - all correct.

Bing gave me a link to some spam-trap site. The Mexican embassy website is nowhere on the page.
posted by vacapinta at 8:10 AM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jeez you sure are picky, vacapinta.
posted by Mister_A at 8:11 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Bing" reminds me of the sound of a old cash register closing. That's probably what Gates or Ballmer say in a meeting when they hear an idea they like. They probably mime the pulling on the cash register lever as well.

MS staff: Bill, we've got this idea of tying IE with the OS so it can't be uninstalled.
Gates: BING! *pulls invisible lever down*

MS staff: Steve, we're going to completely overhaul the Office interface and get rid off menu bars and toolbars so that companies will have to retrain their entire workforce and therefore increase support revenue.
Balmer: BING!

- Creating a new language to compete with Java? BING!

- Launch a competitor to Flash? BING!

- Release our third search engine in 10 years? BING!

Their logo is a bit crap as well, but then again so is Google's.
posted by surrendering monkey at 8:15 AM on June 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


The German localization contains several misspellings, which is kind of a poor showing for a multinational, world-encompassing search engine.

Oh, and if you bing for "sex"* (you know, I really prefer "googling" to "binging") it gives you two different error messages:
  • If you look on the web you get a disclaimer stating "Der Suchbegriff sex führt möglicherweise zu sexuell eindeutigen Inhalten." ("The search term sex might lead to sexually explicit content.") with no option to turn this warning off or enable "grown-up" search
  • If you bing for sex using the image search the error message is even worse: "Die Suche sex kann jugendgefährdenden Inhalt zurückgeben." ("The search sex can lead to content harmful to minors."), a very stilted, legalese phrasing. Again. with no easily accessible way to turn safe search off.
Just my 2 cents...
*Come on, like you wouldn't.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 8:19 AM on June 1, 2009


Named after Crosby?

My money's on Chandler.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:19 AM on June 1, 2009


Bing seems to fail the Fat Free Blueberry Pie test pretty horribly.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:21 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


What, were you people raised in fucking CAVES? It's called "BING!" because of Ned Ryerson, fer fucks sake.

What do they teach in schools these days?
posted by dirtdirt at 8:23 AM on June 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


Serious question: Why does Microsoft refuse to hire competent (let alone talented) graphic designers?
posted by signal at 8:25 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Horrendous name

Horrendous logo

Horrendous design

Horrendous results.


All they needed was two out of four to beat google.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 8:25 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


So far it does better than cuil did. Of course, a mildly retarded chipmunk would do better than cuil did, so that's not really high praise.

Still, I can type in a model number or part number from several random bits of hardware I have lying around and I get results, unlike cuil.

That said, its pretty much a google clone, unless they've got something truly special or different I can't see any reason to use it.
posted by sotonohito at 8:28 AM on June 1, 2009


What, were you people raised in fucking CAVES? It's called "BING!" because of Ned Ryerson, fer fucks sake.

I don't know where you're headed, but can you call in sick?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:29 AM on June 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


When I try to access it from work:
This site has been blocked for nonwork-related access.

Reason: content_filter_denied: Your request was denied because of its content categorization: "Chat"
posted by ocherdraco at 8:30 AM on June 1, 2009


Bing harnesses the power of the electron!
posted by Mister_A at 8:30 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


And with all of Google's extras (Gmail, Docs etc etc.), it's not just a search engine. It's a life engine! Focusing on just the search end of the package is missing the point.
posted by GilloD


A life engine that started out as a search engine. If google hadn't been a good enough search engine to get and keep eyeballs gmail, gcal, gwhatever doesn't happen. Search was the BEGINNING of the package, not the end. It is you that is missing the point. (and it might not work, it might be too late, it might suck, etc. but the idea is sound).

Also, it's good for porn.
posted by gtr at 8:32 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Google gave me the correct website and even a useful map and phone number - all correct.

Bing gave me a link to some spam-trap site. The Mexican embassy website is nowhere on the page.


I'm not sure what you mean. For me, the first link is the same crap on both. Bing gave the correct link as the third link, while Google gave it as the second. Pretty close. As a bonus, Bing gave the English version of the embassy's site, whereas Google gave the Spanish version. Given that you were searching for a place in London in English using an American search engine, I'd call that the more relevant result. Google gives the English version of the page as the fourth result.

Props to Google for the phone number, address, and map, though. Bing gives no non-user-contributed results for using its map search to try and find the embassy.
posted by jedicus at 8:32 AM on June 1, 2009


Ah, it's basically Google with those irritating pop-up preview things that make LiveJournal even more irritating than it is already. Good move, MS.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:32 AM on June 1, 2009


Bing gave me a link to some spam-trap site. The Mexican embassy website is nowhere on the page.

Actually, it's the third link on the page.

Although, I do wonder why a picture of the Russian embassy is the the first pic in the bing image search for "mexico embassy london".

And when I do bing maps for the same search, it asks me which of 5 US cities named London I want. Google Maps somehow manages to guess that I meant London, England.

Not impressed with bing.
posted by nooneyouknow at 8:34 AM on June 1, 2009


The funniest part is that nobody is even mildly surprised at the scope of Microsoft's "tone-deafness" when it comes to where they focus their major efforts anymore.

How about something cool and innovative? Naaaaah, let's make another search engine and spend hundreds of millions on advertising it as we lay off thousands of skilled workers.

Genius!
posted by Aquaman at 8:34 AM on June 1, 2009


But no one will ever use it. Because it's not Google™.

No, people won't use Bing because:
  • The search results are distinctly inferior (so far, at least).
  • Marketing and management have made the user experience unpleasant in the hopes of... Actually I'm not really sure what they hoped to accomplish.
posted by grouse at 8:34 AM on June 1, 2009


Why does it think I'm in Portugal?
posted by Phssthpok at 8:35 AM on June 1, 2009


Bing gave the correct link as the third link,
Actually, it's the third link on the page.

No, no its not. At least not for me. The right page is sre.gob.mx.
Perhaps its because I'm in the UK? Odd.
posted by vacapinta at 8:38 AM on June 1, 2009


And when I do bing maps for the same search, it asks me which of 5 US cities named London I want. Google Maps somehow manages to guess that I meant London, England.

Actually, Google maps used to do that too until very recently. I always found it very annoying.
posted by vacapinta at 8:40 AM on June 1, 2009


vacapinta, one of the linked pages (can't remember which one) said there are three different versions of Bing in the wild and which one you get is a function of your location.
posted by grouse at 8:40 AM on June 1, 2009


The background image is good, for Microsoft. An overcrowded field of bloated vehicles that offer sluggish and limited control, hovering just above a threatening field of deadly obstacles.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:45 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


How about something cool and innovative? Naaaaah, let's make another search engine.

You could have leveled the same criticism at Google originally.
posted by Slothrup at 8:45 AM on June 1, 2009


An overcrowded field of bloated vehicles that offer sluggish and limited control, hovering just above a threatening field of deadly obstacles.

OT: That's Kapadokya in Turkey. I highly recommend it as a tourist destination. The early-morning balloon ride was a lot of fun (if a little short).
posted by Slothrup at 8:47 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


From mashable.com (the FPP's "reviews" Link):
"Manually setting the location to various places in the world, i.e. switching from UK to US changes Bing significantly. There’s at least three very different versions of Bing right now, and depending on where you are, your Bing experience will be very different. It’s a very weird decision from Microsoft, bound to cause a lot of confusion, but hey: it’s the Microsoft way."
posted by ericb at 8:48 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


How about something cool and innovative? Naaaaah, let's make another search engine.
You could have leveled the same criticism at Google originally.


No, because the original Google was cool and innovative.
posted by grouse at 8:48 AM on June 1, 2009


Why would Microsoft think it stands a chance against Google?

Because, well, Google does search and all... but Bing is backed by the Microsoft brand!!!

Seriously, though:

a) This is in the "do something, anything" category. Google's dominance via search is frighteningly great... and Google's ubiquity, and its expansion into other data-gathering realms is-- actually, the word "frightening" comes right back into play.

Internet? Good, but Needs More Search Competition.

b) I'm convinced the ButIt'sNotGoogle joke that leapt into several people's heads has been secretly murmured around Redmond for years.

c) Why is Janina Gavankar not dressed as a giant sexy, somewhat nosey paper clip as she rides among the flotilla of Corel Draw balloons?
posted by darth_tedious at 8:54 AM on June 1, 2009


Yes, the original Google was head-and-shoulders above the other search engines that were around at the time, like Dogpile and AltaVista and crap like that.
posted by Mister_A at 8:54 AM on June 1, 2009


Why does it think I'm in Portugal?

Protector accents sound a lot like Portuguese accents.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:54 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Bing - search for best web browser - 1st result is a link to IE8
Google - search for best web browser - 1st result is a consumer review of web browsers. I would be very surprised if this is anything other than a placement, not based on an unbiased search algorithm.

When typing a query, the results seem skewed to commercial interests. Best started to autocomplete for best Buy, Best Western, etc.

Pre-goog, a search for HP Drivers on Altavista would generate a lot of sites selling printer ink, printers, etc. Clearly paid placement. It was harder to find specific, useful results. Google added clearly labeled paid placements and ads on the right. Ads are okay; they clearly have to make money, but hidden ads or anything that affects search results, is absolutely horrible.
posted by theora55 at 8:55 AM on June 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


How about something cool and innovative? Naaaaah, let's make another search engine.

You could have leveled the same criticism at Google originally.


Also: No, because when Google came out all the other search engines were trying to be portals and their home pages were overwhelming with the amount of info they were presenting.

Google was radically different in its lack of little else on the home page except a text box and two buttons. The "I'm feeling lucky" button was actually cool and innovative because it often returned the result you really were looking for.

This latest from Microsoft does not offer such a contrast.
posted by jeremias at 8:56 AM on June 1, 2009


I take it partly back; I now see that placement is listed as sponsored.
posted by theora55 at 8:57 AM on June 1, 2009


rocket88: "What is the point of that last link?"

Compare that link to Bing's results for MS or Apple, or Google's results for MS, Apple or Google.


Uh...judging by the first few hits for each, they're all pretty much identical. What are you seeing that I'm not?
posted by rocket88 at 8:58 AM on June 1, 2009


Bing is the sound you hear when it's naked time.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:01 AM on June 1, 2009


> Bing gave me a link to some spam-trap site. The Mexican embassy website is nowhere on the page.

Heh. that's weird. I tried that same search (from Mexico) and it gave me the right link as the top result. See there's your problem, Vacapinta, you should have done that search from Mexico.
posted by dhruva at 9:02 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


SpiffyRob: No, that's "Shwing".
posted by surrendering monkey at 9:05 AM on June 1, 2009


and Google's ubiquity, and its expansion into other data-gathering realms is-- actually, the word "frightening" comes right back into play.

How is Microsoft any different in that regard?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:13 AM on June 1, 2009


Based on some of the comments from this thread and the results people are posting, it seems as if Bing customizes search results based on your location. Interesting idea. It means that you can't email a search url and expect they'll see the same results, but that was never guaranteed anyway.

Google's still the best, but it's nice to see someone trying to compete with them.
posted by ShadowCrash at 9:15 AM on June 1, 2009


No, no its not. At least not for me. The right page is sre.gob.mx.
Perhaps its because I'm in the UK? Odd


On my bing search, the third link is portal.sre.gob.mx/reinounidoeng, which leads me to the Mexican Embassy in London's english page.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:22 AM on June 1, 2009


Zing!



I mean Bing!
posted by ostranenie at 9:25 AM on June 1, 2009


Based on some of the comments from this thread and the results people are posting, it seems as if Bing customizes search results based on your location. Interesting idea. It means that you can't email a search url and expect they'll see the same results, but that was never guaranteed anyway.

So does google, which is really annoying when you try to browse the Internet in Germany, and the page is in German, with links to the German versions of websites. The only way to get out from that is http://google.com/ncr for No Country Redirect. I wonder if bing has such a feature.
posted by zabuni at 9:28 AM on June 1, 2009


So, when I reinstall Windows and open IE for the one and only job it ever gets - downloading Firefox - will Bing replace Live as the overcooked search engine that I ignore on my way to grab a proper browser?
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:41 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Quick initial review. It's much improved over their previous search engine foray. I remember that searching for 'linux' wouldn't yield the expected results, rather certain microsoft FUD results were pushed higher in the rankings than they should be and that it was hard to differentiate between these sponsored results and regular results. Doing a vanity search kind of surprised me, the results are actually good but I was surprised at how the information was ranked. It was actually an improvement over google in this case.

Sponsored links are now obvious, which is good. I don't mind sponsored links but I don't want to be misled by their ranking nor deluged with pages of sponsored links.

It's interesting that when searching for apple it also included a field for searching within apple itself. Neat little feature.

It'd take a lot more driving to see how it really fairs against google, but I am willing to give it a try.

I don't say this very often, but: Good work Microsoft Engineeering!
posted by substrate at 9:43 AM on June 1, 2009


yeloson: "I preferred Ms. Dewey. If you're going to give me a so-so search engine, at least having Janina Gavankar to snark away at least made it entertaining."

Dammit, and it closed in January. I'd have liked to have seen that.

blucevalo: "I suppose they figure that Street View is superior to bird's eye view, but it would be nice to have both, especially in places where Street View has not yet permeated."

I was shocked to discover, earlier this year, that Street View goes down my very street in Brunswick, Georgia. Brunswick, Georgia! Surreal.

caddis: "I think most of the snark here comes from MS prejudice."

I blame them not at all.

ocherdraco: "When I try to access it from work: This site has been blocked for nonwork-related access.
Reason: content_filter_denied: Your request was denied because of its content categorization: "Chat"
"

Eh, not surprising. Lots of web filters block things nonsensically. A couple weeks ago I found out the local public library blocks Metafilter because it's categorized as a "message board." Being named Best Blog by Time Magazine counts for nothing, apparently.

theora55: "I take it partly back; I now see that placement is listed as sponsored."

Google shades the background of sponsored links and puts a colored border around them. Obviously Bing has miles to go towards pointing out their paid placements. The whole reason I switched to Google was because other search engines were chasing placement dollars so avidly. Google made the web useable. If Google hadn't hit it big with honest search results, I'm certain it would have crippled the growth of the Internet.
posted by JHarris at 9:49 AM on June 1, 2009


A lot of people here are mocking the name "Bing" while advocating something called "Google". And apparently without irony, either.

Is it somehow obvious to everyone else that the way Google conducts searches is the one and only way it could possibly be done, with every other method so inferior that even a random answer would be better than their results?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:49 AM on June 1, 2009


A review of sorts:

-As said above, much closer to google search results. Very similar pages, sometimes with the better results up higher than google.

-Needs more resistance to SEO idiocy. I got this link when searching for "EEE android snapdragon". The engadget link it's based on doesn't hit the front page, while it's the third result for google. I've seen the same on a couple of other searches, which were copy from other websites, with a great deal more advertising. Granted, google has a great deal more practice exorcizing these type of links from the search results.

I'm glad to have a second opinion now.
posted by zabuni at 9:52 AM on June 1, 2009


Doesn't the ranking of Google's search results depend in part upon which links users have actually clicked on after performing similar searches? That is, if 50,000 people search for "mexico embassy london" and 45,000 of them click on the link that actually goes to the Mexican Embassy in London, that link gets moved to the top of the rankings (unless someone has paid them to place a link higher). Presumably some of the early results you're getting showing the "obviously correct" link ranked lower than it is in Google is just a function of the fact that nowhere near as many people have used Bing yet. Once a few million people "teach" it which links should be ranked where, it'll get you results that will be mostly indistinguishable from Google's.

In the meantime, that "bird's eye view" thing is pretty damn cool, and I like the way they render their maps.
posted by yoink at 10:01 AM on June 1, 2009


A lot of people here are mocking the name "Bing" while advocating something called "Google".

Well, that's because it was intuitively obvious to every user that when you bowl a "googly"(or "google") the batsman must "search" for the ball, and if he doesn't "find" it he's likely to find himself "stumped." That's just plain sense.

"Bing"???? WTF? That's as stupid as naming an online bookselling company after a mythical race of warrior women or something--it would obviously doom that company to failure.
posted by yoink at 10:06 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


JesusFrigginKeerist!!! Have any of you done a video search with this thing? Try it...then simply mouse-over any of the still-frame thumbnails.

Oh...and turn down your speakers.

Who the hell thought that was a good idea?
posted by Thorzdad at 10:16 AM on June 1, 2009


Yoink: no, that's not how it works.
posted by snofoam at 10:18 AM on June 1, 2009


bada.bing.com should take you to a search of strip clubs, but it doesn't. What a missed opportunity.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:19 AM on June 1, 2009


I mean, that's not how search engines work, or why bing might have different results than google. Also, bing is a new name, but they still have all the data from msn/live search.
posted by snofoam at 10:20 AM on June 1, 2009


Hurrah! Superior ego surfing results. Suck it, accountancy person with same name as me!

I always feel a little sorry for the Live search. I used to use it by default when I was contracting at MS, seeing as I was working for the Live group and all, but I'd pretty much always do a search, not get what I wanted, then do the equivalent search on Google and get it on the first search. It did have a bunch of cool little features if you knew the API, but mainly they related to searching stuff within Live.

And with all of Google's extras (Gmail, Docs etc etc.), it's not just a search engine. It's a life engine!

Yeah, I think the Live group of products would be the equivalent of that. Like the search, they're generally not as popular as the Google equivalent - though Windows Live Mail (or whatever Hotmail is called this week) might actually have more of a user base than GMail, as it predated it by quite some time.
posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on June 1, 2009


I like the fact that it plays those videos in miniature, well I like it now that I know to expect it.
posted by forforf at 10:23 AM on June 1, 2009


GhostintheMachine: "Is it somehow obvious to everyone else that the way Google conducts searches is the one and only way it could possibly be done, with every other method so inferior that even a random answer would be better than their results?"

I think this is sarcasm, so I'm going to respond to what I think you're actually trying to say, which I think is "This is kneejerk pro-Google anti-Microsoft sentiment". (Please correct me if I misparsed the layers.)

I, personally, don't dislike this because it's different. I'm indifferent it because it's exactly the same. I already have a search engine that gives me good results. Without a compelling difference, I'm not going to switch engines (and I bet a lot of other people aren't, either.) How is this not just "a good search engine, but owned by a different multi-billion-dollar company"?

Not to mention that their rationale is terribly nauseating marketing copy.

like_neon: "Oh I see, the background image changes... daily? And you need to install Silverlight to see past images... "

Agh, that's really, really, really terrible.
posted by Plutor at 10:25 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yoink wrote In the meantime, that "bird's eye view" thing is pretty damn cool, and I like the way they render their maps.

Yeah, but I massively dislike MS maps because of the way they try to hide their censorship.

Every satellite map company censors at the request of governments. I can't say I like it, but I understand why governments would request military facilities be censored and why the map companies comply.

But google does it in an obvious way, they slap up a "this image has been censored at government request" type image to block what was requested to be blocked.

MS tries to make it look like there is nothing there by copying in imagery of the surrounding wilderness.

So I don't use MS maps.
posted by sotonohito at 10:27 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ned Ryerson!
posted by weston at 10:27 AM on June 1, 2009


I mean, that's not how search engines work, or why bing might have different results than google.

Really? Not at all? I mean, I know that PageRank is largely to do with links from webpage to webpage (hence Googlebombing), but surely a good search algorithm would also add some weight to what searchers actually deem useful in their searching, no? I mean, if 99% of your searchers for a given search click on the third link down rather than the first or second, wouldn't it be good practice to move that link up?

If Google aren't doing this, then that seems an easy advantage for some other search engine to exploit.
posted by yoink at 10:32 AM on June 1, 2009


yoink, you are correct. Google does this. Sometimes irregularly. Just about always if you set up an account with them and stay logged in. Their appliance does not do it, though.

The PageRank algorithm is one of many, many ingredients that goes into the stew. There are, supposedly, hundreds of factors.
posted by adipocere at 10:42 AM on June 1, 2009


But google does it in an obvious way, they slap up a "this image has been censored at government request" type image to block what was requested to be blocked.

MS tries to make it look like there is nothing there by copying in imagery of the surrounding wilderness.


Interesting. Could you give an example of such a site?
posted by yoink at 10:47 AM on June 1, 2009


Presumably all search engines use all the data they have available to them, including user data. Like adipocere says, there are hundreds of factors. Studying clickthroughs is problematic in at least a couple ways: 1) it isn't really the same as measuring usefulness (e.g., the search engine can't tell if you found the answer in the result you clicked) and 2) it's obviously pretty easy to game.

I would guess they use your user data more to cater results towards what your search history might indicate, if you are searching while logged in to google. But for something like the Mexican Embassy search, it is probably more likely that other factors are much more important, like how much government sites are weighted, etc.
posted by snofoam at 10:54 AM on June 1, 2009


I like the fact that it plays those videos in miniature, well I like it now that I know to expect it.

Ah. See...I guess when you don't have Silverlight installed (like me) you get static thumbnails, but you still get the audio. That was startling and annoying as hell.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:02 AM on June 1, 2009


When you bing Chandler, Chandler Bing comes third. When you google Chandler, Chandler Bing is missing (from the front page), as it should be.

Initial reaction: <>whoa! revolutionary! 20 results on the first page!<>

More thorough reaction: This is weird. is it trying to categorize these results for me? I don't know. Yes, yes it is. Only the top 5 results are actual results, the rest are in categories, like jobs and hotels. Weird.

Final reaction: Oh, I guess I get it. That's the way a page looks when you search a city. Confusing. Whoa. Just noticed the little "extras" box in the corner. Looks blatantly ripped from Google's stylesheet. Actually, the whole title bar looks eerily similar. They couldn't do something new? And what is this cashback.bing.com thing all about? *click* C'mon, guys. A FAQ would be nice. Or an about page. Fail.

FAIL.
posted by Night_owl at 11:07 AM on June 1, 2009


Ned? Ned Ryerson?
posted by ostranenie at 11:10 AM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Heh. Also, bing does not have as large an index as Google. Googling a friend's full name brings up 7 results, all of them actually about her. Binging the same full name brings up one result, with the (in quotes) search term not appearing in the blurb (although to give credit where due, the search term does appear in the linked document).

Hello, Googlings. Take me to your Reader.
posted by Night_owl at 11:15 AM on June 1, 2009


Is Bing full of Zing, or does it prefer Baconaise?
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 11:35 AM on June 1, 2009


blah blah Google dominance blah blah

> How is Microsoft any different in that regard?

It isn't. On review, I realize that, mid-writing, I got mixed up and typed the wrong rhetorical question-- not "Why would MS think it'll win?", but "Why is MS doing this?"

I doubt anyone, even at Redmond, thinks MS will actually win this competition-- Google's too good, and too entrenched. As everyone here knows, it'd take something radically better than Google to displace McG-- and Bing! plainly isn't it.

(Bing, obviously, really isn't even radically different. Wolfram Alpha, in choosing to build itself around quant comparisons, is taking a smarter tack... it just isn't good enough yet to be interesting.)

At any rate, Bing! probably isn't really about killing Google, or even surpassing it technically-- it exists just as an attempt to slow the Google ad-money and data-gathering juggernaut down. Of course, whereas Microsoft succeeded in the past by buying up second-tier companies and throwing their now free or cut-rate rebranded products at a given competitor, Google's free, so MS can't compete on price.

Where MS *can* compete on price is in terms of ad space for its searches. So it'll get advertisers, but that doesn't mean it'll get searchers.

The problem, of course, is that MS still needs some sort of incentive (local search probably isn't enough) to drive searchers to Bing! in the first place.
posted by darth_tedious at 11:35 AM on June 1, 2009


When you bing Chandler, Chandler Bing comes third. When you google Chandler, Chandler Bing is missing (from the front page)

Surely that's a round to Bing, isn't it? I'll bet there are far more searches for "Chandler" meaning "Chandler Bing" than there are meaning "Chandler guitars" or "Chandler chamber of commerce" or even the estimable James Chandler. You may not wish that this were so, of course, but surely it is hardly the role of a search engine to pick and choose what you "ought" to be interested in, is it?
posted by yoink at 11:37 AM on June 1, 2009


I feel bad for the Microsoft search team. They've been working hard, for years, and have built a pretty good search engine. It's fast, and the results are good, and the index is comprehensive. But no one will ever use it. Because it's not Google™.

Ah, the sweet, sweet Schadenfreude. They should try working on something else for a while, like a free OS or an alternative office suite.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:44 AM on June 1, 2009


Bing.com - if it was a James Bond film, it would be "You only live.com twice".
posted by davemee at 11:53 AM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Okay, yoink, I will concede that Chandler Bing is probably a desirable match for many people searching Chandler. So yeah, since Google displays Chandler Bing as the 21st entry instead of 3rd, Bing wins that round.

So then let's try refining our search. We're looking for the character named Chandler on the tv show Friends, so let's search "chandler friends" sans quotes on Google and on Bing. On Google we get the wiki entry for the character followed by the imdb entry for the show, with the blurb from Matthew Perry's character entry. On Bing we get "Local results for 'friends' near Chandler, AZ" followed by the imdb entry for the show, but with a blurb from a forum question or a summary or something.

Result? Meh. I prefer Google, because it's easier to use and comes up with results I am more likely to use. I will concede that the little pop-up live preview is only sometimes annoying, and could be useful.
posted by Night_owl at 12:02 PM on June 1, 2009


Today marks the first time I've ever spent brain RAM on wondering how many people are thinking about Chandler Bing hard enough to want to run a search on the name at any given moment. How frequent and how widespread is the random, burning need to see or read about some Chandler Bing?

The last time Chandler was a bing on my radar was back in April when he was telling all the chat shows his story about being hardcore at Fallout 3 and wrecking his hands in the Capital Wasteland.

That's the way of the warrior right there, Chandler. Respect.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:11 PM on June 1, 2009


Nelson: "I feel bad for the Microsoft search team. They've been working hard, for years, and have built a pretty good search engine. It's fast, and the results are good, and the index is comprehensive. But no one will ever use it. Because it's not Google™."

The more people repeat this in this thread, the stupider it seems. It's not a Google thing. It's an inertia thing. Google beat everyone else who existed at the time (Lycos, Hotbot, Excite, Yahoo) because they were tons better. As long as Microsoft just keeps repainting its as-good-as-the-leader search engine, it's not going to beat nobody. (That holds for Yahoo's new engine, too. It's good, but, well, it's just not the engine I already have bookmarked and am used to.)
posted by Plutor at 12:22 PM on June 1, 2009


So then let's try refining our search. We're looking for the character named Chandler on the tv show Friends, so let's search "chandler friends" sans quotes on Google and on Bing. On Google we get the wiki entry for the character followed by the imdb entry for the show, with the blurb from Matthew Perry's character entry. On Bing we get "Local results for 'friends' near Chandler, AZ" followed by the imdb entry for the show, but with a blurb from a forum question or a summary or something.

Actually, I'd give this round to Bing.com as well. On Google the page lists ONLY links related to the TV show. On Bing.Com at least you get some variety. I'd agree that the "friends in Chandler Arizona" link is probably higher than it needs to be, but the Wikipedia site that Google has at #1 is at #3 on Bing, and the, arguably just as useful, IMDB site that Bing.Com has at #2 is at #4 on Google.

My real point here is not to argue that Bing is better or worse than Google, of course, it's just to suggest that the hate for Bing doesn't have much to do with Bing's actual qualities. If Google had added the "video preview" thing or the "bird's eye view" thing, I'm pretty sure we'd have heard nothing but praise for Google's endless inventiveness.
posted by yoink at 12:28 PM on June 1, 2009


They should try working on something else for a while, like a free OS

Where's the business model there exactly?
posted by Slothrup at 12:34 PM on June 1, 2009


I think the bird's eye view is great. But it's been around for years so it's not exactly novel. And the user experience of Microsoft's web offering is so poor that I am unlikely to use it.

Video preview is pretty cool, I will give them that. So far it is the one interesting new feature.
posted by grouse at 12:35 PM on June 1, 2009


I'm not anti-MSFT. Still, I recognize the reality of their corporate behavior. To me, the most fundamental problem is that I just don't trust MSFT in search - I don't trust them to give me unbiased results. Maybe that's paranoia, but there's history behind it. I have not forgotten how they used to screw with some results, back in the day - specifically when it came to linux, where if you searched for "linux" you'd come up with all sorts of nonsense like the first few links being to studies (microsoft financed, no less) purporting to show how bad linux is - while the same search in google didn't have that problem. Allegedly they stopped doing that, but what's to prevent them from starting up with this shit again at a future date? To me, their interests are just too broad, and they play dirty. So, I will never trust them with search results, sorry.

And does Google need competition? Sure. But to be a true competitor, you have to have an actual - that's right - competitive advantage. Bing doesn't. Too many people think merely different equals competitor, and instead we should have slightly higher standards.
posted by VikingSword at 12:37 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


A search for my username was stunning! The page was filled with links about me!

Then I checked Google & it was similar. It's just been a very long time since I've bothered looking for myself.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:39 PM on June 1, 2009


Searching a bit online, other people placed it faster than I did: In "Infinite Jest," "Bing Crosby" was slang for cocaine. "Bob Hope" was marijuana.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:51 PM on June 1, 2009


Um... why does clicking on the "maps" link on Bing redirect me to the Chinese version of the map? WTF?
posted by gyc at 12:51 PM on June 1, 2009


their interests are just too broad, and they play dirty. So, I will never trust them with search results, sorry.

That about sums it up for me. Groundhog day reference #2!

Seriously, if every other anti-competitive dirty trick they're famous for wasn't enough, if the earlier search manipulations weren't enough, the IE 6 fiasco seals it. It was a concrete and persistent demonstration that the company simply does not care about the quality of their products beyond their position in the market, a giant middle finger rising from Redmond. They sat on a nearly unmatched trove of resources and let developers waste millions of man hours making things work on a broken if dominant platform for five years, an eternity in the software industry. I don't know if the most rabid reactionary Microsoft hater's hatred has actually reached the depth that the company actually deserves. Part of me recognizes they've been making some awesome stuff, the .NET platform really is cool, Seadragon and Silverlight and Photosynth, all good stuff. I don't care, and with a competitor like Google in town, I certainly don't care about their search engine... even if they didn't have a history which indicates a willingness to bend the search results for their own benefit. The fact is, they've spent 2-3 decades being the abusive jerk of the computing world, all the flowers and chocolates in the world aren't wooing me back. Though the public torture of anybody responsible for Internet Explorer product development decisions from 2002-2007 might.

Hate. Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you...
posted by weston at 1:03 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Bird's eye view is pretty cool, but the interface is a bit unintuitive. Still, having multiple aerial angles is sweet. I'll give them points for that.

But the name? "Bing"? Really?

It sounds like an adolescents description of getting an erection: picture a 15 year old Quagmire-type smiling and pointing to his crotch with both hands: Bing!
posted by quin at 1:54 PM on June 1, 2009


I found it interesting that some older google bombs still work with Bing, while Google has updated their search results to something less likely to make the lawyers salivate.
posted by nogudnik at 2:01 PM on June 1, 2009


I will never use this.

Moving on.
posted by Malice at 2:04 PM on June 1, 2009


yoink Unfortunately I can't find the page I was looking for, it linked to a Russian base that, at any level of zoom, was censored by both Google and MS. But Google censored it with a big grey block and an explanation, while MS had pasted in fake scenery.

I can point you to an Italian base that, in Google is not censored, and in MS maps is not censored at low zoom, but when you zoom in suddenly switches to copy/pasted farmland

First MS maps (or "bing maps" if you will). Not that the airbase mysteriously becomes farmland as you zoom in.

Its not a perfect example because it isn't censored at any zoom level on Google.
posted by sotonohito at 2:28 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, sotonohito, it's not as clear cut as you'd like. As, for example, Google maps blurrily censoring the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, and Bing maps leaving it uncensored.

See wikipedia's entry on censorship of satellite map images.
posted by yoink at 2:43 PM on June 1, 2009


Yeah, but that's "Ding!" or "Beep!" or "Dong!".

Microsoft Dong? I'd hit that.
posted by rokusan at 2:48 PM on June 1, 2009


Perhaps they should have called it "bong", so that your search results could be called "bong hits".

There is simply no way I'm the first person to make that joke...
posted by hincandenza at 2:51 PM on June 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


I tried the video preview three times. It crashed my browser three times. Fuck you, bing.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 3:07 PM on June 1, 2009


I will never do a standard search with this. The image search is fucking sweet though, awesome interface and it's always good to have another place to do an easy search.
posted by yellowbinder at 3:59 PM on June 1, 2009


Hmmm, I'd assume it was BING Is Not Google.
posted by cx at 4:57 PM on June 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


interesting about the differing map censorship...

unrelated funny thing from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center wikipedia page:

No wildlife exists on the island.[1]. However, as Plum Island was named an important bird area by the New York Audubon Society, it has successfully attracted different birds, Plum Island had placed...

Those are some clever birds that choose vacation destinations based on the proclamations of the NY Audubon Society...
posted by sloe at 5:29 PM on June 1, 2009


Well.

I checked the criticisms upthread, like this one, and this one and the results were fine. I find it unlikely that anyone from MS is reading this thread - but even if they are (hi!) it means is that they are moving pretty quickly. My own preliminary tests on relatively obscure searches (radio fix/problem with my car's stereo - and then academic research stuff) turn up results that are as good as google. And it provides the listings for the correct Mexican consulate right off, and on the map it centered the map near where I actually am, providing the local and more obscure London's first - appending UK "fixed" that and popped up with a map of what I assume is the embassy in downtown London. A little US centric. Apart from the Oh noes porn bit it seems to work well enough. It is a massive undertaking, and I am impressed with the results - the criticisms I've seen are mostly minor, with the exception of weston's points, which are aimed at the organization, not the actual results.

Frankly, google's been coming up with crap more and more often lately for me, and I've been switching to using yahoo more often, and left wishing the Evri/Wolfram Alpha's worked better.
posted by zenon at 8:24 PM on June 1, 2009


Is this something I'd have to ask Jeeves to understand?
posted by mazola at 8:34 PM on June 1, 2009


Pre-goog, a search for HP Drivers on Altavista would generate a lot of sites selling printer ink, printers, etc. Clearly paid placement.

As per too often, a tone of certainty is, uh, completely wrong.

I worked at AV in the time of Google's ascendancy. Even then, after the "pre-goog" days, people at AV were trying to figure out how to "monetize search." They were a long way from even having a paid-placement program in place, much less having one in planning stages.

They were also a long way from having a search engine that could hold a candle to Google. Strange timing in that I was at AV, posting things on the site when the Concorde crashed.

Three things could reasonably be expected to show up prominently in a search for Concorde: the plane, a car model with that name and spelling, and a hotel chain with that name and spelling.

Google did as one would expect. AV listed separate results for every page from the hotel chain's site. There was a ton of 'em; they clogged up the results to the tune of several dozen at or near the top of search results.

People responsible for posting news, etc., on AV used Google, much as the top-level people frowned on it. Our managers told us to find the best information as best we could.

AV was simply a matter of a company not keeping pace, getting crushed.

MS can feel like they decide to try things like people might decide to try wearing a shirt that costs a dollar at a garage sale, with that level of concern about the costs when they run into the millions.

Yahoo found success with their Answers thing so MS had a go. They hired people, ramped it up, did some marketing, went to SXSW, etc., etc., etc. Then they decided it might not be worth it so they put it in a state of minimal existence with a couple people working on it and zero budget beyond the two salaries. Someone decided that it did indeed deserve money, attention and effort. From there I lost track of it.

What didn't change at least over the course of more than a year was that from day one, the platform was really inefficient, complex and a big pain for those tending to this thing's care and feeding.

So, a me-too offering (actually at least a me-three because Yahoo got the idea from something in East Asia) established after Yahoo had gained prominence and dominance; serious shortcomings in infrastructure planning and execution from the git-go that were not addressed for at least some time; wildly varying decisions about how important this thing was, people who worked on it demoralized due to big changes in the company's level of enthusiasm for it, concerns that the next e-mail from Redmond would be, "We're shutting it down."
posted by ambient2 at 12:34 AM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bing gave me a link to some spam-trap site. The Mexican embassy website is nowhere on the page.

All poorly filtered results like this on all search engines for the rest of eternity are are henceforth known as "Bingleberries".
posted by Mikey-San at 12:38 AM on June 2, 2009




Does anyone know what the photo is of the UK version of Bing ATM? It's beautful and I think I'll go there. I binged 'bing hompage photo' etc but nothing... shouldn't they just say what it is at the bottom?
posted by RufusW at 6:55 AM on June 2, 2009


Does anyone know what the photo is of the UK version of Bing ATM?

If you hover over the copyright (C) in the corner is credits Preeti Krishna so I'm guessing somewhere in India? I did some binging / googling (oh the irony) and could' find any info either... FAIL.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:06 AM on June 2, 2009


Oh and I'm totally claiming first use on binging!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:07 AM on June 2, 2009


Oh and I'm totally claiming first use on binging!*

* Despite it appearing previously, including this thread, it is so mine!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:08 AM on June 2, 2009


No one mentioned cashback. I guess that's been around for a while, but seems plugged into bing so it's worth mentioning. Shopping results on Bing seem at least as good as google's to me, and if it means I get a cut of the click-through revenue, I'm inclined to use it over google (or at least do a quick comparison search).

Someone mentioned that MSFT can't compete with GOOG b/c they're free. Essentially true, but there's big costs behind running a search engine. Last time I saw an estimate, google had 200,000+ servers running around the world. If someone can make a faster engine, better crawler, or run on less servers, they can fund their operation on less ad revenue, at least allowing them to compete.

When the xbox came out, everyone said msft was crazy, they'd never compete with sony. This might work out similarly. They might never be the market leader, but hopefully they make it a more competitive area and help lead to more innovation for the consumer.

Anyway, google will remain my default search engine, but it's nice to see a second horse enter the race.
posted by ShadowCrash at 10:51 AM on June 2, 2009


When the xbox came out, everyone said msft was crazy, they'd never compete with sony. This might work out similarly.

This ignores Microsoft's decade of failure in the search field.
posted by grouse at 11:03 AM on June 2, 2009


I miss Kumo.

Also, Microsoft does not need to win the search engine wars. Every 1% of the market is worth a potention $1 billion. I'd be happy with a couple of percent.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:51 AM on June 2, 2009


With all of these efforts, Microsoft reminds me of Wile E. Coyote trying to catch the Roadrunner, and bringing yet another disaster upon himself.

Maybe they should change the name from Bing to Acme.
posted by Danf at 1:43 PM on June 2, 2009


About once every other year, I try to wean myself off the Google teat. So far the killer feature has been the ability to switch the search seamlessly to maps, groups, news, and scholar.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:48 PM on June 2, 2009


Ugh, they've started showing TV advertisements claiming that it's a "decision engine" that will end "search overload." Ew.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:01 PM on June 3, 2009


...claiming that it's a "decision engine"

Bill Gates: "I am the Decider".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:58 AM on June 4, 2009


So it's the Jump To Conclusions mat of the 21st century?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:51 AM on June 4, 2009


You can make a blind search and vote here. Hopefully the results will be back up soon.
posted by tellurian at 7:40 PM on June 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, this is really fantastic. I'm agonizing over the results, trying to pick which ones I would be most interested in seeing. After about 10 trials, I'm getting 5 bing, 4 google, and 1 yahoo. Strong showing from bing, maybe I was quick to judge? And I do have to admit to really liking this bing tv commercial.
posted by Night_owl at 11:02 AM on June 10, 2009


I agree Night_owl, it's fun. I pick google most times. The last results before the system got gamed were - Google: 45%, Bing: 32%, Yahoo: 22% on 10,748 votes.
posted by tellurian at 4:28 PM on June 10, 2009


The thing that suprised me is that I ended up picking Yahoo a bunch of times. Bing results being fairly similar to but not quite as good as Google was expected, but Yahoo I thought of as unusably awful.
posted by Artw at 4:49 PM on June 10, 2009


I have used Bing a bunch now and it is ok, but it still can't quite match Google. As someone said upthread, when you do something like this you want to be better, not nearly as good. The good thing is it will help keep Google honest and push them to be even better. Also, why only 50 maximum results. Go right to 250 to show up Google on at least something. No one is on dial-up anymore. We can handle 250 results, we can handle even more.
posted by caddis at 6:22 PM on June 10, 2009


Groklaw has been complaining about the use of Wikipedia material on Bing, in relation to allegations of Micorosoft astroturfing on Wikipedia. An interesting connection, if somewhat tenuous.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:42 PM on June 10, 2009


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