And first impressions are…not bad, which, for Microsoft, is a massive victory.
It’s being praised for its comprehensive and user-friendly travel and shopping searches, although general searches and Microsoft’s big hope, local search, have left something to be desired.
Although the UI seems clean and simple some of the better features have been secreted under drop-downs and tabs.
Bing will get a “soft launch” in the UK in beta form, before a 60 strong team go to work making it’s results more UK relevant.
Ashley Higfield, a key player behind the success of the iPlayer, and now Microsoft’s UK Consumer Vice President, said: “There is a huge opportunity in the search market.”
“Given that it’s dominated by one player, and given that research shows a high level of dissatisfaction among a high level of the user base. We know that only around a quarter of people get what they are looking for on the first search.”
Bing is being considered by some more as an “information portal” than a straight-up search engine. It provides options and answers as opposed to referrals.
But it looks to be a good start – some tweaking and Microsoft might well be onto something.