Bing: Walks, (almost) looks and quacks like Live.com

I cannot vouch for the accuracy that Bing, Microsoft’s much vaunted Google-killer (?) stands for But it’s not Google though Seth Godin thinks it is. Even if that were true then MS has a lot of explaining to do – especially about the differentiation. Actually Bing is Live.com – try typing live.com in your browser and see where you end up. Only that someone laid out nice pictures on the background. The top nav of Bing goes as “Web|Images|Videos|News|Maps|More|MSN” and that of Google reads “Web|Images|Maps|News|Orkut|Groups|Gmail|More”. Excitingly different, no? I ran some sample searches and found little difference between what each engine fetched (by the way, I hardly ever go beyond the first page of a web-search because I demand my search engines to dish out what I am looking for in that. So if Bing was doing some mind boggling stuff differently from Google on the 2nd page then it was lost on me). Yes, Bing had this search preview thing which was something I never saw on search outputs. It is also a touch weird that Bing works differently depending on your locale. For example when I used an US route and used Bing, it showed me actual shopping options and prices for the search “used canon lenses” but none when I switched back to my original location.

Modern day web search has transcended the realms of hunting for static information on the internet. Search has integrated geo-spatial information, local businesses, media that is different from html text, people and thanks to Google has also taken the form of Wikis. Microsoft has to be clear in what it wants to acheive with Bing. Get market share away from Google or make the user experience of its own die-hard fans better. To me it looks like the latter and hence I fail to understand this But it’s not Google thing. Take a look at outputs from both Bing and Google when I try “vietnamese cuisine at Bangalore”

Bing_vitenamese

Google_vitenamese

Besides the obvious embellishment that maps and local search adds to the result in Google, it is also interesting that the third result of Google is the first in Bing.

No amount of marketing perfume can kill the smell of a pig. Bing from MS is just Live.com in a different name. It looks like Live.com, walks like Live.com and moreover, even quacks like Live.com.

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