Microsoft is due to launch a new search engine, Bing, on June 3. The launch may initially be restricted to the US, as Microsoft is taking time to sign up partner websites in each country. These partnerships may be both a strength and a weakness, as the quality of information could be good but perhaps from a limited range of sources.
Bing search appears to be designed to return a list of information and key websites, more like Ask.com than Google or the recently launched WoolframAlpha.
Bing appears to have been optimised for searches for products or services. It appears that Microsoft is partnering with sites to provide links to products in online shops, a bit like Google Shopping, although the links may be to reviews rather than directly to products. Users will be able to earn cashback when buying from Bing’s commercial partners.
Travel ‘products’ also appear to be a target, with the Bing promotional video showing a predictive tool that will tell you when flights are likely to be at their cheapest (here’s our hint – avoid the school holidays).
Only time will tell whether Microsoft’s new search engine survives or, like Gong Show contestants of old, whether it suffers the ignominy of hearing that loud Bonnnggg!