Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled Bing 2.0 (and it made the TechCrunch50) to the world. No, it didn't involve a series of hyped up commercials and a broken, buggy new program. What it did involve, is Silverlight technology and several big leaps of logic. Bing 2.0 is regular Bing, with a visual search option added. If Search Engine Land is right, it looks like a very useful little addendum.
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In essence, visual search allows users to use images in order to sort through large piles of data returns easily. Sorting through text can be difficult and time-consuming, but you can tell which images fit and which don't at a glance. If you don't fully know what you're looking for, a visual search engine could be the fastest way to find it (or to at least figure out what it is you -aren't- looking for).
If you'd like, you can check out visual search here. It seems to be at its best when performing a direct comparison (eg; sports teams, cities) or helping to search for a product (travel destinations, iPhone app rankings, etc). Right now visual search is very limited, as Bing has only finished the preliminary round of work on it. You may notice certain search results are rather sparse as a side-effect.
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Visual search gets a big thumbs up from me. I'll need to spend more time finangling it, but so far it feels like an improvement in an area Google never even entered. I have no doubts that they'll be quick to seal up that hole by creating a similar service, that's why inter-industry spats like these are so good for customers. Yay corporate rivalry!