Bing

From ElateWiki

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Contents

Intro

Bing is the new search engine that was launched by Microsoft about six months ago. The product, which is designed to provide users with more immediate and more organized data with the click of a mouse has been considered by many as an attempt at something greater than a standard search engine dubbed a “decision engine”. Although comparisons are strictly avoided by Microsoft associates, the industry has viewed and considered the new search engine as a direct competitive response to the monopoly in the market known as Google. The product was developed around the notion that the current state of Internet searching has many holes and flaws that need to be addressed. Consumer reports have suggested that approximately half of all attempted search queries fail to meet consumer needs, and that almost three-fourths of all internet users feel that search results are far too disorganized. Bing was designed to provide users with the quickest and most useful information en route to making the most informed and efficient decisions.

History

In 1998, Microsoft launched its first search engine in the form of MSN Search, that used results from third party operating systems developed by other developers. After a series of alterations and upgrades to other systems leveraged by competitors, Microsoft developed its own technologies so that MSN Search could become its own self-built search engine to efficiently serve its customer base while competing with the search giants of its time. In 2006, MSN Search was replaced by Window Live Search in an effort to provide more precise results to its increasingly large number of monthly search queries. Technology soon followed that utilized Microsoft’s own image-search programs to elevate its capabilities to even greater heights. Amongst a plethora of reorganizations and corporate consolidations, Microsoft’s numerous search services were all branded under the name Live Search. Subsequent research and development and increased efficiency subsequently produced their new all-encompassing “decision engine” on June 3, 2009 known as Bing, which shortly after became the program powering Yahoo‘s search engine as well.

Features

The homepage of Bing, such as the one shown below, displays a search box on top of a colorfully vivid and perhaps currently relevant image that contains hotspots that provide facts and/or links regarding that image. 2.jpg

An enhanced Auto-suggest feature uses common past searches as well as an expanded database to help ease user trouble in typing out long searches or potentially hard-to-spell topics. Statistics show that over fifty percent of searches are subsequently refined in some way, and that thirty percent of users actually use Auto-suggest features to aid in their selective process. Best Match is a feature that Bing uses to make the best results, and most commonly relevant ones, stand out. As nearly half of all queries are navigational, Bing attempts to cut out steps to get the user to where he or she wants to go externally as efficiently as possible.

Deep Links are a feature that lets users get a brief idea of what is behind a link before actually selecting it. They orient the results horizontally to save screen space, and their ten percent expansion of the Deep Links help to greatly reduce the amount of “bad clicks” one might endure. They also take this concept one step further, as hovering one’s mouse over a search result will show a floating window of text that is even more detailed, giving you added reassurance that where you’re clicking is where you want to go.

Bing provides an expanded concept of Answers, giving immediate information on the results page to simple queries such as flight statuses, stock quotes or concert times. This eliminates the need to find an external site to then sort through for information, saving large amounts of time to the user.

Web Groups provide a greater categorized and web searching process, as queries containing terms that fall under certain categories will be grouped for better organization and easier sifting. Currently, Bing has various groupings for eight broad topics: automobiles, travel/local, people, sports, health, entertainment, retail, and events. These categories will organize results into relevant groups that will make observing information much more efficient.

Bing provides an expanded gallery of topics that comprise the Visual Search feature. An example of this screen is shown below. This concept let’s users search via topics when they perhaps might not know exactly what they are searching for, whether it be the title of a movie or the name of a particular celebrity. 1.jpg

The Explore Pane, which lies on the far left side of the search results screen, shows the various Web Groups that are related to a particular query, followed by links to potential related searches or searches that the user may have recently queried. This aids in making the search experience more and more efficient for the user as he or she continues to use it.


When searching for Images or Video using Bing, pagination is eliminated, meaning one can infinitely scroll through his or her results. They provide a multitude of filters one can apply to make sure that the desired type and/or quality of an image can be quickly obtained by the user.

Cross-Session history allows users to save their search results so that they can be stored, viewed, and organized according to one’s desired needs. These results can also be shared via e-mail, Windows Live, Facebook, and other forms of networking to once again, provide efficient results where they are needed.


Uses

Whether it be travel information, stock quotes, investment opportunities, or entertainment reviews, individuals and corporations alike can exponentially increase their efficiency with many of the potential uses of the Bing infrastructure. Following this section is a demonstration of the simplicity of some of Bing’s most practical uses. As a “decision engine” the goal is to provide all users with the quickest and most relevant information possible so that no time is wasted sifting through meaningless results. Bing attempts to, and impressively succeeds at, keeping queries as useful as possible so that people and businesses can run their lives as informed and as efficiently as possible.

Weather and Events are two of the most commonly queried searches in today’s society, and therefore Bing attempts to make these sorts of searches as accessible as possible. Instead of making one hunt from site to site to gather all necessary information, multiple sources are scanned to give the most up-to-date and relevant information, immediately on the results page, as opposed to behind a link.

Bing Shopping allows users to search the web for particular products, and subsequently provides them with the best deals available from the most reliable dealers. A multitude of filters are provided so that the user can efficiently narrow down his or her search to the exact product or service that fits his or her needs. Currently, there is even a cash-back infrastructure within Bing that provides customers with the ability to receive exclusive discounts on purchases made through Bing.

Bing Travel aids the user in finding the best possible deals on transportation, lodging, food, entertainment, etc. in whatever destination he or she may choose. It uses an infrastructure known as Farecast to compile historical data on travel rates to predict any potential rises or falls in prices so that the user can make the most informed decision possible. Once again, a multitude of filters lets the user get as specific as possible with their queries, making final decisions as simple as possible. Bing Travel also has the ability to compile the most reliable reviews on hotels and restaurants to that one can make the most educated decisions in a potentially unfamiliar location.


Bing Health allows the user to query regarding a certain need or symptom, and subsequently providing them with results providing information on potential diagnoses, medications, or hospitals and clinics in the area. Statistics have shown that forty-five percent of people use the internet to research what ails them and how to potentially treat it, meaning that in many circumstances, this could be a priceless resource to have access to within the Bing infrastructure.

Conclusion

The internet is a constantly changing and rapidly growing animal that is becoming more and more heavily relied upon in our everyday personal and occupational lives. Businesses and consumers alike can greatly benefit from the efficiency provided by the vast number of features in this high-powered technology. By reducing wasted clicks and adding greater structure to the sometimes utter chaos that can accompany search results, Bing attempts to give its customers answers with a single click. Information and opinions regarding products and local businesses is accessible as anywhere in a much more visibly organized layout than many of its predecessors. Bing has been developed by Microsoft as a program that adapts to how one uses the internet so that decisions can be made quickly and efficiently regarding virtually any and all of life’s encounters.


References

Ecommerce Journal: More About Virtual Economy http://www.ecommerce-journal.com

CNET: News http://news.cnet.com

Wired: Epicenter http://www.wired.com/epicenter

Bing http://www.discoverbing.com

Search Engine Land http://searchengineland.com