Friday, September 25, 2009

Is Bing the real thing?

So I recently used Bing, Microsoft's relatively new search engine, just to see if it matches up with the king of search engines, Google.

I was pleasantly surprised, and I might even start using it as my main search engine.

The Layout

The simplicity of Google is one of the main reasons it has become the biggest and best search engine of all time. It's easy to find the search bar (how could you miss it), and the same goes for Bing.

Bing is probably prettier to look at because of its beautiful city picture on the front page, but it doesn't really add anything, I guess.

Both sites have their email counterparts right on the homepage (Hotmail for Microsoft, Gmail for Google).

Advantage: Tie

Web Search

I didn't really notice much difference in terms of what sites show up on each engine's web search. Google allows you to see 100 sites on a page, while Bing only lets you see 50, so advantage Google there.

A search for "Milwaukee Brewers" in Bing gives you six different sections - general Brewers info, Schedule, Tickets, Wallpaper, Rumors, and History. I guess that could be nice for some people, but if I wanted to know about the Brewers' history, I'd type in "Milwaukee Brewers history". The way that Bing has it now, you have to click on "see more results" in each section if you want to see more than the three default sites in each section. That just slows the search process more than it needs to.

Advantage: Google (for me, anyways)

Image Search

The fantastic thing about Bing's image search is that you're not limited to only 20 images per page like Google is. You'll get up to 1,000 images on a page.

Bing has four different views for images - small zoom, medium zoom, large zoom, and show image details. Google has no options. When you scroll over an image in Bing, it gets bigger and shows its details, a nice touch. When scrolling over an image in Bing, it gives you the option to show similar images, something that Google does not offer.

Advantage: Bing in a big way

Video Search

Bing has video searches all figured out. When you scroll over a video, it'll start playing for you. How cool is that?

Google Video wasn't very successful at all, so they acquired YouTube. Of course, YouTube on its own crushes anything Bing Video can do, but since YouTube is a separate site, I'll exclude it for comparison's sake.

Bing only allows you to see 20 videos on a page, whereas Google Video lets you see 100. Advantage Google there.

Advantage: Bing, as long as you consider YouTube not part of the Google Video site.


Bing's Microsoft Maps are clunky and not very easy to use. We all know how good Google Maps are. No contest here.

Advantage: Google

I think Bing is a pretty nice search engine, and I think I'd definitely use it more in the future. The video and image searches are really a plus, but for pure web searches, I think Google suits me best.

It'll be interesting to see what features Bing adds to try and catch up with Google. If one thing is for certain, it's that Microsoft has all the money in the world to pour into Bing.

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