Skip to main content

Microsoft's new search engine is called 'Bing'; mobile client is forthcoming (updated)

Sure enough, it was revealed this morning at D7 that Microsoft's new search engine — excuse us, they're calling it a Decision Engine — previously known by its Kumo code name, is officially to be called "Bing," just like we'd heard. It also gives us another reason to run this killer picture. But Bing's not being touted as just another search engine. It's got goals.

Bing is specifically designed to build on the benefits of today’s search engines but begins to move beyond this experience with a new approach to user experience and intuitive tools to help customers make better decisions, focusing initially on four key vertical areas: making a purchase decision, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business.

The question remains: Will we see the Bing brand cross over to Windows Mobile? And is there any more to Sift and Swivel? News at 11. Full presser after the break.

Via All Things D

Update: Looks like there will be a mobile client. [via] But is it merely a Live Search rebrand? Or something new?

Microsoft’s New Search at Helps People Make Better Decisions

Decision Engine goes beyond search to help customers deal with information overload.

REDMOND, Wash. — May 28, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled Bing, a new Decision Engine and consumer brand, providing customers with a first step in moving beyond search to help make faster, more informed decisions. Bing is specifically designed to build on the benefits of today’s search engines but begins to move beyond this experience with a new approach to user experience and intuitive tools to help customers make better decisions, focusing initially on four key vertical areas: making a purchase decision, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business. The result of this new approach is an important beginning for a new and more powerful kind of search service, which Microsoft is calling a Decision Engine, designed to empower people to gain insight and knowledge from the Web, moving more quickly to important decisions. The new service, located at, will begin to roll out over the coming days and will be fully deployed worldwide on Wednesday, June 3.

The explosive growth of online content has continued unabated, and Bing was developed as a tool to help people more easily navigate through the information overload that has come to characterize many of today’s search experiences. Results from a custom comScore Inc. study across core search engines show that as many as 30 percent of searches are abandoned without a satisfactory result. The data also showed that approximately two-thirds of the remaining searches required a refinement or requery on the search results page.

“Today, search engines do a decent job of helping people navigate the Web and find information, but they don’t do a very good job of enabling people to use the information they find,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “When we set out to build Bing, we grounded ourselves in a deep understanding of how people really want to use the Web. Bing is an important first step forward in our long-term effort to deliver innovations in search that enable people to find information quickly and use the information they’ve found to accomplish tasks and make smart decisions.”

A New Approach to Internet Search

Based on the customer insight that 66 percent of people are using Internet search more frequently to make complex decisions,* Microsoft identified three design goals to guide the development of Bing: deliver great results; deliver a more organized experience; and simplify tasks and provide insight, leading to faster, more confident decisions. The new service, built to go beyond today’s search experience, includes deep innovation on core search areas including entity extraction and expansion, query intent recognition and document summarization technology as well as a new user experience model that dynamically adapts to the type of query to provide relevant and intuitive decision-making tools.

  • Great search results. Relevant search results are still a top priority for people, yet Microsoft studies show that only one in four search queries deliver a satisfactory result. Bing helps identify relevant search results through features such as Best Match, where the best answer is surfaced and called out; Deep Links, allowing more insight into what resources a particular site has to offer; and Quick Preview, a hover-over window that expands over a search result caption to provide a better sense of the related site’s relevancy. Bing also includes one-click access to information through Instant Answers, designed to provide the sought-after information within the body of the search results page, minimizing the need for additional clicks.
  • Organized search experience. More and more customers are regularly spending time with search engines, engaging in complex, multi-query and multi-session searches. Respondents also said an organized search experience would be twice as useful in helping find information and accomplishing tasks faster. Bing includes a number of features that organize search results, including Explore Pane, a dynamically relevant set of navigation and search tools on the left side of the page; Web Groups, which groups results in intuitive ways both on the Explore Pane and in the actual results; and Related Searches and Quick Tabs, which is essentially a table of contents for different categories of search results. Collectively, these and other features in Bing help people navigate their search results, cut through the clutter of search overload and get right down to making important decisions.
  • Simplify tasks and provide insight. Microsoft’s research identified shopping, travel, local business and information, and health-related research as areas in which people wanted more assistance in making key decisions. The current state of Internet search isn’t optimized for these tasks, but the Bing Decision Engine is optimized for these key customer scenarios. For example, while a consumer is using Bing to shop online, the Sentiment Extraction feature scours the Internet for user opinions and expert reviews to help leverage the community of customers as well as product experts in trying to make a buying decision. In Bing Travel, the Rate Key compares the location, price and amenities of multiple hotels and provides a color-coded key of the best values, and the Price Predictor actually helps consumers decide when to buy an airline ticket in order to get the lowest prices.

The new brand portfolio will include the following changes to existing Microsoft programs:

  • Microsoft’s mapping platform, Virtual Earth, will now be branded as Bing Maps for Enterprise.
  • Technology from Microsoft’s April 2008 acquisition of Farecast is now a central part of Bing Travel.
  • Microsoft’s popular cashback program, now dubbed Bing cashback, with more than 850 merchants and more than 17 million products available, will be fully integrated into the Bing Shopping experience.

Microsoft is committed to building better tools to help people find the shortest distance from their initial search query to the point of making an informed decision. Bing is an important first step toward this long-term vision and a strong indicator of Microsoft’s commitment to move search technology forward for customers.

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • im going to bing that person....just sounds wrong...basically, 'binging' anything sounds wrong...
  • "google that on the internet" "bing that on the internet" i'll use it if it is actually better
  • Let's see, click thru for the Bing Mobile link .... it takes you right to that familar page with "We currently offer support for United States, United Kingdom, France, and Italy." Cue maniacal screaming here. Really, honestly, until they make a mobile client for Canada (or hey, how about just letting me pick Celsius and Kilometers in the preferences but stay USA centric) I couldn't care less about Live Search, Bing, Bong or Pong search. It represents a complete waste of space on my HTC's internal memory, because I still have to install Google or Yahoo to get search results I understand. I honestly don't know how far 1.7 miles is, or if I need a jacket for 57 degree temperatures. Google tells me this, and so does Yahoo. Without having to run to the conversion calculator. Microsoft Live/Bing/Bong/Whatever still gives Traffic in Toronto which is not a part of the USA last time I checked and I'd use Live Search exclusively if they'd just fix that little glitch. I expect the Bing uptake in Canada to max out around 3, maybe 4 devices total. While Google is installed on every single mobile device I've encountered over the last two years in Ontario. That's right.... ALL of them.
  • One of the great feature of bing is auto compete feature, which is similar to Google, though being a blogger I would like to see some quality result from
    Bing rather then people who game SEO and come at the the top of Google Search result. Lets hope for something new and useful this time from Microsoft
  • Look at page 31 for info on Bing for Mobile. Right now it's just slightly updated versions of Live Search for Mobile, and no new features to be announced yet. Give them time though :)
  • i think the brand name is going to be a problem. does anyone remember microsoft's "bob"? i would suggest the "live" branding already had traction, and would be more successful and memorable.
  • So are they going to give me local information in Australia? They drum up Live search so much, but it's almost completely useless to me as there's no information for my country. There's an entire world out there, Microsoft. I can load up Google maps and find all the information you advertise in possible in Live search. I can't do so in your own product. This is a problem.
  • People are used to using multiple search engines. I use aside from and Bing is a welcome addition.
  • it seems like Microsoft should stick with one name for their search engine functionality so that it has a chance to turn into a recognizable brand
  • have to wait for this. hope soon it will come for mobile.
  • Thanks for sharing~