So Microsoft has relaunched and rebranded Live Search as “Bing”.
Like most things Microsoft makes, Bing has too much unnecessary junk on it. The background idea is clever but distracting.
I also don’t like the layout changing when you go to one of the categories. If the categories are on the left side, keep them there.
Again, Microsoft’s stuff always feels like it had to get approval by 50 committees. Why does MSN need a link? Why does Windows Live need a link? Why is there a “Web” image in the top corner? Ah because that shows what I’m currently viewing. But on Chrome it looks weird.
How does Google do?
By default, it’s much cleaner. If I want more, I can click on “Show options”
The quality of the search is hard to judge.
On the one hand, Microsoft has put in more effort into finding people on Facebook and other engines. But the overall quality of Google’s searches seem better or at least have more depth.
I’m going to call it a tie though because it’s close enough that it’s purely subjective. Live Search was clearly inferior but Microsoft seems to have really upped their game.
One of the things I wish search engines were better at is answering questions. They are getting better and Bing seems to be quite good at it:
and one more:
Verdict: Bing (by quite a bit)
In test after test, Bing was significantly better at handling questions and getting quick answers to facts.
This is a tough one because Bing’s image gallery is just much better to use in most respects but the Google image gallery is vastly larger. Google’s use of drop downs is nice but the screen space used is crazy and the options limited.
Verdict: Oh this isn’t even close. Bing blows Google away here.
First, Bing lets you mouse over videos and they play right in the search. Very impressive tech. Second, it gets much more on screen. Third, Google now uses half the space to spam users with irrelevant junk. Which surprises me because Google has YouTube to back it up.
Verdict: Tie. They both do a great job here. I wish I could combine the two. The Bing cashback feature sounds interesting though.
#6 Finding locations
Verdict: Google by a mile
News: Google by a mile
Certain search items are categorized and give additional information which is very interesting.
If Google has something like this, I’m not aware of it.
Overall I am leaning towards Bing which I am surprised. I had a bit of a bias going in because let’s face it, Live Search wasn’t that great. I remember in the early says of Live Search I would type in Stardock and it would bring up some magazine review of WindowBlinds on ZDNet or something. But it’s come a long way and Bing is very close to being pretty ideal.
Microsoft still needs to get rid of some of the pointless clutter and they need to index a lot more. The news section on it is pretty basic and it copies Google so unapologetically that I feel a little dirty for using it. Windows may borrow concepts from the Mac but Bing is basically Google done as a web 2.0 project.
The real winner is all of us. I like Google a lot (I use Google Chrome) but I wouldn’t want them to be the only game in town. Bing is a worthy competitor and I find myself in the odd position of having Bing be my default browser for Google Chrome. How backwards is that?