Bing Visual Search


Today sees another great addition that makes Bing an even stronger competitor to Google, and that is Visual Search.

This gives you search results as images (which has been shown to speed up searches by around 20%), rather than just a list of text. You can then filter and re-arrange the image results based on various criteria. It’s still in Beta at the moment but it has quite a few “featured galleries” that give you an idea of how it works and it’s all based on Silverlight. Here’s an example:

Say you’re searching for a certain celeb but you can’t remember their name. Got to the “Popular Celebrities” gallery:

image

You know it’s a female singer you’re thinking of so using the filters on the left, you can tighten in up:

image

That’s cut it down from 915 to 109 but that’s still quite a few pictures to go through; luckily there’s one filter that I think is particularly awesome…the age range filter. The singer you’re thinking of is somewhere in here 30’s so:

image

Here (if you open up the bigger picture) you’ll see the age is set to 29-41, which has further narrowed it down to 31, which is an easy amount of pics to quickly flick through. Once you’ve found the person you’re looking for, simply click the image to be taken to a Bing search page for them:

image

Even in it’s Beta form, this is clearly a powerful new tool in Microsoft’s assault on the world of search and it can only get better. What’ll be great is when you can get the Visual Search results for any query so next time someone’s arguing that it’s Laurence Fishburne in 187, not Samuel L Jackson-you can Bing it and get Visual Proof-nice 😉

Well done Microsoft…now here’s my request for the next version of Visual Search…the ability to generate a search query with a picture. Say you’ve got a JPEG of a building/person/car and you just don’t know what or who it is, imagine being able to upload that to Bing and it identifying it for you…that’s be pretty sweet 🙂

If you can’t access the page www.bing.com/visualsearch then change your country to the US (in the top right corner) and you should be all good!

Bing better than Google


Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine has been with us for about 1.5 weeks and is still getting the great reviews it was receiving initially. This article over on The Register contains proof that Bing is actually better than Google…at least when it comes to adverts.

While we, as users, need search engines to give us relevant results easily and quickly; they, as businesses, need them to make money…and when it comes to search engines, that’s all about the adverts baby! A research specialist company called User Centric have been conducting tests based on where users of Bing and Google look when online:

BingvsGoogle

It seems the “vertical search and Bing-optimized categories, combined with the way Bing presents the search results on the screen” are the key here. Microsoft are sure to be happy that their latest venture is proving successful in pretty much every possible way 🙂

On a personla note-I think Bing is awesone 😉

Microsoft Bing put to the test


Microsoft Bing went live this morning; I’ve been playing around with it and I’m very impressed!

The first thing I did was search for my blog and I noticed the new thing to the side of the results which, when hovered over, gives you a preview of the site like so:

Blog bing

I’m also very impressed with the image search-it seems to bring back better results than Google and the “Related” links on the left always seem to be relevant.

The next thing that impressed me, and made me change my homepage over to www.bing.com (from Google) was the relevance of search results, especially when compared to Live Search. For some reason, I can never remember the URL for Mary Jo Foley’s All About Microsoft blog so previously,I would Google it and simply click the top result. However, when I tried using Live Search, the top results were all various articles rather than the main homepage-and that made it a couple of clicks longer than with Google. Not much difference I know, but in these hectic 21st century days-it all counts 😉 Now though-I can Bing it and it’s the top result-happy days!

I am a big fan of Microsoft (as you might have gathered) and I always wanted to use Live Search, but it just wasn’t good enough…now that Bing is here though, I think we’ll see Redmond’s market share jump up quite a bit. They’ve definitely got at least one new user…

Microsoft Bing


We all knew that Live Search was going to be re-branded and Kumo was the favourite new name for quite some time. MS certainly tried it out and I had people visiting this very blog from “Kumo.com” but they finally decided on “Bing”, and announced it May 28th 2009. Microsoft say that Bing isn’t just a search engine, but a “Decision” engine-a device to help you make sense of the information you receive and I think it sounds pretty great!

Some examples I’ve seen are that if you search for say “Nikon D80”, Bing will break the results down in to sections such as “Where to Buy”, “How to use”, “Photography Groups” etc rather than just a long list of results. The 2nd example was if you search for “British Airways” not only will Bing return the BA homepage but also the most pertinent info from the site including Customer services number, contact address etc-without you needing to enter the site 🙂 That’s the kind of stuff that will making searching the net easier and more fruitful 🙂

Bing will be available Worldwide on June the 3rd so it’s not long until we can all see for ourselves if Bing is, as Steve Woz from Apple said, “Astounding”!

bing

To find out more, head over to www.bing.com

PS: It’s been noted by a few people that Bing could also stand for But It’s Not Google 😉

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