Is Bing the sound of search? (Part I)
Microsoft’s search solution has meandered a long course with no definitive direction. From MSN search to Live Search, Microsoft’s efforts have preliminarily been non starters of sorts. With Bing a.k.a Kumo (in its developmental days), Microsoft is trying its best to arrive at its best Search Solution till date. Launched formally on June 3rd, 2009, Bing is Microsoft’s latest attempt to step into the search domain where they have been minnows for a while now. Google rules the search kingdom with a 64.2% market share followed by Yahoo at 20.4% and Microsoft owns a miniscule 8.2% market share. Google’s search dominance translates in $4.7 billion revenue where as Microsoft’s attempts have seen it incurring losses in the online ad business. To mount a credible challenge to Google, Microsoft tried taking over Yahoo last year. But after Yahoo rebuffed its $47.5 billion offer, Microsoft turned its attention to improving its own Live Search.
Bing helps people make decisions through guided search and a focus on task completion. In a time when a new Website is created every 4.5 seconds, information overload is becoming a real problem. People are getting hundreds of thousands of links but not getting what they want. Bing tries to alleviate problem by offering up different experiences depending on the search. It also acts more like a destination site for certain searches. Bing pulls in data from other Web services when it can so that you often don’t have to leave to get the information you want.
Bing’s search result page is customized according to what type of search you do (health, travel, shopping, news, sports). The algorithms determine not only the order of results on the page, but the layout of the page itself, concluding what sections appear. Microsoft is positioning it to be “more of a decision engine”.