Pretty soon, we'll all have the option of Binging when we search, rather than Googling. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer just had an interview with D7, where he spilled the beans about the tech giant's plans for their new search engine, and how they plan to differentiate it from Google.
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When I first heard that Microsoft was planning to take on Google at its own game, I thought that they must have gone mad. But in the interview Ballmer seemed to be quite cogent of the difficult task ahead of him.
"They have share, we don't have share." said Ballmer, referring to Google's 55.9% lead over Microsoft in search market share.
But how will Microsoft capture the share they need? By innovating. One neat new feature that Ballmer mentioned was Bing's 'Instant Answer' search option. By clicking it you get a list of answers to your query, in addition to search results. For example; searching for 2009 Oscar winners would bring up a list of the winners, as well as search results pertinent to the 2009 Oscars.
Bing also promises to offer 5 day weather forecasts, thumbnail video searches, and powerful 'data mining' utilities based on Microsoft's recently acquired Powerset technology. From what it sounds like, Ballmer wants Bing to be a search utility and not a search engine. Bing users would spend a great deal of time on the Bing page itself, browsing the information it brings up and even shopping through it.
That's definitely the smart way to go about prying share away from Google. If Microsoft can make Bing into something that more people see as a research program and data sifter than a traditional search engine, then they have a chance of actually bringing some users over from Google.