Bing is Microsoft’s new decision engine that gives you the right information to make the right decisions. Bing TV ads (hat tip to Peter Kafka) hit the air today, the first of many. The ad is really good, upbeat, like the PC Hunter ads. But, Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple, provides the best ad ever, and it wasn’t even an ad…just an impromptu interview. And, The Wall Street Journal (Katherine Boehret and Walt Mossberg) did a great review of Bing.
Glowing reports from Steve Wozniak, Walt Mossberg, and the Wall Street Journal are better than any TV ad, but both are great.
Here is a link to the Steve Wozniak interview where he says “That was the most astounding software demo I've every seen," “I thought it was going to be all marketing and sales pitch…I was really impressed.” “I have been begging for this stuff for years” Take a minute and watch this interview with the Woz.
The Wall Street Journal says “I've been using Bing for more than two weeks now, and this search engine really did retrieve on-target, useful information on the first try. But what I like best about it is that it does so in a user-friendly manner that looks and feels more inviting than Google.”
Bing really shines in four main areas, Travel, Shopping, Health, and finding a local business. Microsoft acquired Farecast, a company that tracks and predicts air fares, and has integrated it into Bing travel search. When you do a Bing travel search it will advise on buying the ticket now, or waiting for the price to go down further. See the screen shot at right.
Bing shopping search helps you find the products you want, complete with pictures, prices, and cash back on your purchases. Anywhere from 2% to 15% cash back on things you buy. Hey, you were going to buy it anyway…why not get cash back by using Bing Shopping search? I found a 46 inch LCD TV for $1406, and a 6% cash back offer. That is $84.36 cash back on one search/purchase.
A search for Type 2 Diabetes brings back excellent, relevant results, and includes an “Explore pane” on the left side. It lets you drill down on; Symptoms, Diet, Medication, Prevention, Blood Tests, and Images. It also includes related searches like; Diabetes Symptoms, Diabetes Sample Diet, Diabetes Cure, and others. Related Searches and Search Suggestions have been around for a while as an option, but very few people knew where to find the options and how to select them. Bing does it automatically. It will be interesting to see how many people use them.
A Bing search for a local business returns a map with all the locations, address, telephone numbers, maps, and directions. The cool thing about the directions is that it gives you landmarks along the way like “Exxon station on the corner”, and lets you know if you went too far “If you pass Maple Street, you have gone too far”. Pretty cool.
Bing Image search is awesome. You can scroll down and see hundreds of images. No need to hit the “Next Page” button. They just appear as you scroll down. Mouse over an image and it enlarges before your eyes, and presents the URL and meta data. I did a search for Demi Moore and scrolled through over 700 images in a few seconds. Awesome!! Try it, you will be hooked. The image search also includes an “Explore pane” on the left side. It lets you drill down on Images, Movies, Wallpaper, Posters, Fan Club, Videos, etc. The explore pane changes dynamically based on the search term.
Bing video search returns thumb nail images like other search engines. But, mouse over an image and the video starts playing right there in the search pane. No need to click away, or waste time watching a video you don’t really want. Preview it right in the search results page.
There are lots of other new features in Bing. Some are subtle features that save time, others just improve the experience. Try Bing. You will be surprised…pleasantly surprised.