Bing has offically launched Bing in the UK following an extensive period of trial and ‘indepth analysis’.
During the last five months – where Bing remained in beta here in the UK – Microsofts European Search Technology centre has been focussing on developing the Bing UK framework to be as UK centric as possible in terms of search habits, user requirements and search quality. This as a result has meant a number of refinements during these period of which the key features highlighted by Microsoft include:
- A localised UK homepage, with unique imagery and ‘hotspots’ – click through information boxes provide users with a wealth of information. A tool for discovery and inspiration
- Visual Search, helps users search (maybe for a new purchase) using visual images and meta data without having to type in keywords
- More Instant Answers, created to give users a quick response options to a search question, such as how is Liverpool doing in the premiership or which tourist attraction should I take my in-laws to at the weekend
- See who or what is being chatted about with global live Twitter feed searching, pulling up Tweets in Bing searches in real-time
- Looking for the best deals? – an integrated shopping experience with Ciao UK searches the Internet to find the best prices, reviews and local availability. Bing supports making the best shopping decisions based on community feedback – not just advertising
- Not sure how to get there? Bing Maps is based on insights from our Multimap users. Bing Maps now offers new map styles, imagery and transit integration as well as draggable routes
- Bing has been built for the UK to help consumers get to key local sites and services in fewer links by including popular links, search boxes and suggestions within best match
According to Ashley Highfield, VP and MD for Consumer & Online, Microsoft UK “Bing is ready for the UK consumer, with our revolutionary way of searching the Internet proving very popular. Features such as Categorised Search, Twitter and Visual Search, are providing a different and intuitive experience, and are enabling us all to make informed decisions and discover more of the web – faster.
However, this is by no means the end of our development. We will continue to innovate and introduce new features on an ongoing basis by listening and responding to what UK search users find relevant. Removing our beta tag is merely the first step to signal Bing is here and already has features that are superior to those provided by other search engines.”
I will be interested to see whether this is enough to see Bing take second spot on the search engines, certainly it still lags a long way behind Google particularly given Googles’ rate of innovation at present. Watch this space….