The buzz on Bing

Bing's homepage features a dominant image that users can mouse-over or click for more information.

We are go for Bing.

As expected, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled a revamped search engine Thursday at the Wall Street Journal-sponsored D7 technology conference in San Diego.

I won't rehash the press release you can read here, but here are the hits:

Rollout – Launches worldwide at by June 3. Check out this site for a preview and videos, if you can't wait.
New look, new thinking – Left-hand panel offers categories: images, videos, shopping, news, maps, travel to start, but adapts as search terms are entered, trying to guess what a user's looking for.

Beating Google?

Many – including Ballmer – agree that Bing's success won't come in toppling Google, but in stealing some market share. As things stand now, Microsoft's Live Search pulls in an 8 percent share. Google's at 64 percent.

PC Mag's hands-on provides a good rundown of the new features of Bing – including a look at how the revamp has changed features already present in Live Search.

Paid Content's Joseph Tartakoff, after trying out Bing for a week, reports that the results provided for most queries were about the same as – and sometimes inferior to – those returned by Google.

Ars Technica ran into a bit of a confusing snag in their extensive hands-on with the new site – the sorting and filtering options left something to be desired, and were sometimes way off-base.

Search or "decision engine"?

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley points out the not-s0-subtle change Microsoft is pushing with Bing. The company thinks "customers are ready to move 'beyond search' and Bing will help them make better decisions," she writes.

Bing? Sift? Kumo?

Asked why Bing was the name chosen, Ballmer told D7 host Walt Mossberg that, while he wasn't the creative mind responsible for the decision, "short matters. Being able to verb up can be helpful," and "We wanted something that unambiguously says search." TechCrunch's Eric Schonfield thinks Bing falls short. He says "Sift" would've been a better name – and asks readers to weigh in.

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