Apparently Bing Is Something Of A Hit

Thursday may not have been Microsoft Bing Day, but today sure is. Microsoft quietly launched their new search engine without fanfare and sans parade.

Last week everyone got to see the demo video and a few of us were actually able to access Bing for our reviews. Most everyone, though, just had to wait to actually try the service.

Initial reader comments tended towards the negative on announcement day. Microsoft got heat for having nothing but a landing page up (and not even that for a while after the announcement). The “Bing stands for But It’s Not Google” comment appeared a number of times, as did sarcastic comments like “Looks like Live search again. Good to see Microsoft trying new things.” There were also a few variations of “MS is a bloated sinking ship…bing is nothing but a desperate attempt by an obsolete company.” You get the picture.

Today, though, they can actually try it. And the overwhelming number of user comments on our launch post Sunday evening are extremely positive. People like Bing. A few of them:

So long Google … I’m a Binger now

lol i agree. all the search results i get are very good and i really like this interface.

Bing looks interesting and very promising, It gives perfect results for couple of my favourate searches [aah my name :) ]

It is fast, accurate, visually pleasing – and as Sam said above – Holly crap, it doesn’t suck. I really like the way the images are done – click on an image in the gallery and then the results go along the left hand side – that is a sweet feature. The news search falls a bit short – but hey.

The results are actually good. i did a search for “extend a dd-wrt network with airport express” and was impressed by the qlty of the results. also the results look clean. and the left hand guided search assistant is great.

good results and feels really responsive and fast. Will use.

I kinda like it….will have to play with it for a week or so.

Wow! Did Microsoft finally nail search? Had to know they would get it right at some point…

Also quite impressed. Even though there are heavy graphics, it still feels light and responsive. I actually think it makes Google feel a little stale.

wow…… bing is good……..surprise coming from Microsoft…

I expected the worst and was pleasantly surprised. The images search was better (more relevant) that what I was getting at Google. I also tried some searches that I normally use Google for and most of the same results came up, in roughly the same order (meaning I could use this thing for real after all). The only problem I see is breaking the habit of using Google. That Bing is actually competent and useful for search is really surprising. MS nailed it. Even if it’s not “as good as” Google, it’s pretty damn close.

My thoughts on Bing: I like it. And I’d consider using it as my search engine. But like many people I’m used to Google and I know how to find the things I’m looking for. Bing returns very different results for a lot of queries, which is great. But it also means spending time learning how to use Bing to get what you need out of it. I’ll spend that time because it’s my job. But for most people, they’ll stick to what they know, and that’s Google.

If Microsoft takes search share with Bing, it will likely be from Yahoo. If I were Yahoo and I was thinking of doing a search deal, I’d pull that trigger sooner rather than later. Yahoo wants a “boatload” of money to do a search deal or sell the company outright. Microsoft offered a boatload last year for either deal and couldn’t get it done. If Bing is a hit, there’s little reason for them to offer more. Google’s blocked from working with Yahoo, so they aren’t going anywhere.

I’ll sum up with this – whether Microsoft ultimately succeeds or not in “winning” the search war, the competition is very good for the rest of the Internet. Google needs to be pushed to try innovating new things (not this). And search marketing competition will ensure that Google doesn’t get too greedy. We don’t need Microsoft to win, but we do need to avoid a world with just one search engine that matters. Maybe Microsoft can win that lesser war, at least.