Microsoft’s Bing kicks Google’s behind

At the surface, Microsoft’s Bing may look like Google, but once you dig in a bit you notice a lot of nice little enhancements that make a huge diference.

Microsoft's Bing Search Results

Microsoft's Bing Search Results

I’ve only been using Bing for the last 2 hours and I’ve already decided it is my new favorite search engine. The search results look very similar to google’s, but  Microsoft’s added a ton of little useful features. My favorite is the left sidebar with search history and related results. I also really like the pop-out details you get whenever you hover over any search result. The site is very ease to use, but obviously has a lot of deep complexity in its design; a lot of “spit and polish”. Small things you may not even notice, like how the image search’s counter (IMAGES;”>1-16 of 1,510,000 results) will update as you scroll – pretty nice little feature that I’ll miss if I ever go back to search images on Google.

If you agree that Bing is useful, you may get frustrated if you are a Mac user because you can not update your Safari search bar to default to Bing. Luckily, I found a helpful little utility and how-to that remedies the situation.

I know there may be a temptation to argue the quality of the results – that somehow google’s search algorithms are somehow better and more sophisticated. First, good luck with that discussion, the results I am receiving are just as good as I get from google for my “real world” use . Second, who really cares? There are countless studies from Forrester and Gartner that prove people value ease of use more than they value content. Bing has the “ease of use” thing down. It’s pretty ironic because Google beat out Mapqwest’s user experience years ago with Google Maps, but they failed to innovate in search UX and now have been leapfrogged by Microsoft.

It is obvious to me that Microsoft has a renewed focus on user experience. Thy are investing heavily in us (the end user) and that investment is truly paying off.

  1. I tried Bing the other day and put in my name. It got everything about me on the very first page…blog, facebook, Linked-in, InsideRIA posts, twitter account. Google thought I was the president of the pencil collecting society, but Bing nailed me.

  2. PaulH said:

    i’m completely unimpressed by bing. it returns more or less the same results as google but at least google doesn’t think i live in china (ms thinks that everyone in asia is chinese). compared to google it’s maps, outside the US, are retarded (and in chinese to boot, something google got over last year). no, i don’t think ms is kicking anyone’s behind here.

  3. I’ve tried a few searches in Google and Bing and there was no big difference. I think I will stay with Google. I’m used to it and I’m too lazy to change my way of searching. But I might use it when Google fails me.
    What I don’t like about Bing is the picture on the front page and in the corner when you see your results. It’s a nice picture, but when I search for something I want to see my search results and even this little picture is destracting my eyes.

  4. I went back to google after about a week of Bing.

  5. Well I had a robust comment written here until Bing crashed my browser >:-/

    As I was saying – I need more time to play with Bing but one of the very first turn-offs was an apparent requirement to install Silverlight in order to use parts of the UI. That’s a big no-no for me and a complexity that Google would never burden me with.

    I do like the useful goodies that appear in the left sidebar. The suggested search refinements that appear when searching for a topic as big as Starbucks or Apple are right-on with really clear call to action.

    I really could do without the travel site photography that appears throughout the UI. The Bing logo is bad enough as it is but looks even more garish with generic travel photos appearing underneath. I think the bad logo and superfluous ornamentation throughout the site makes the entire experience feel cheap, dated and kinda corporate. The images look like they could have been standard Windows XP screen saver options.

    As a search tool, Bing isn’t bad at all. It’s a solid number two behind Google. I will say that it’s overall UX (garish branding aside) is better than Yahoo’s, which feels like a total mess these days. Google still feels more useful to me although that may be due to habit and familiarity.

  6. hiya

    i have not tried bing as yet. I dont understand why i should use it. I use google since 10 years, i think is the best search engine i have ever seen.

  7. Anonymous said:

    I cannot kick its behind if you get server errors

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