Over the past weekend, MSN launched Bing, their new search engine tool. Bing replaces MSN Live Search, which consistently lost market share to Google.
Bing's aim is to answer the question "what am I really looking for" better than any other search engine. Microsoft wants Bing to be known as a decision engine. For example, when searching for "travel" using Google, you are offered up sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz. These same results for "travel" are provided in Bing but results for travel reservation sites also come up in Bing's main search area.
Bing also provides an enhanced Related Searches section along the left-hand side of the page as well as a recent search history. One of the best features of Bing is that it offers a local search option with the search results. Once you click on the local results page, you are shown a local map that includes businesses that are related for the search term. For example, the "travel" search term produced local results for lodging and travel agencies.
According to comScore, Google currently leads the U.S. core search market with a 64.2% share. Yahoo! is the second largest search engine with 20.4%, and MSN falls into third with a 8.2% of overall search volume . Microsoft, however, does not expect Bing to overtake Google any time soon. According to a New York Times article, Bing's goal is to incrementally gain share over time.
So far, reaction about Bing across the web has been positive. Microsoft is planning to launch a multi-million dollar campaign in support of Bing but it will have to move fast. Google is expected to make a search-related announcement sometime this week. So even though Bing seems to provide valuable search features for users, it still has the daunting task of competing against Google, whose name itself has become a verb for searching online.