Hi everybody! I’m in Seattle to attend a website usability session with guru Steve Krug all day Friday. Seattle: home of the Mariners, the Space Needle…and Microsoft’s headquarters.
So it’s perfect timing that Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, announces key updates this week. For a full look view into Bing updates, check out this entry from the official Microsoft blog from Seattle Post-Intelligencer. (I’m already such a Seattle local, eh?!)
The Microsoft blog describes the new look and features so well, I won’t compete. So instead, I’ve put together a collection of quotes from Microsoft on the philosophy behind Bing and this week’s updates:
On Bing’s New Look: “You will see a new design aesthetic applied to Bing,” states Bing Corporate VP Brian MacDonald. “We have tried to bring you an experience grounded in clear readable typography that helps you find your way and organize information. With the new design the rich content in Bing really stands out from pages that are clean, light, open and fast. Result pages are not presented in a one-size-fits-all-layout â€“ instead, Bing results pages are richly and visually organized, making the whole search experience feel dynamic and alive.”
On being the decision engine: “Our focus is trying to get to an intent-based dialogue model as opposed to hit or miss model we have today,” Microsoft’s director of Bing Search, Stefan Weitz, said in an interview. “We also went back to the research and figured out what kind of decisions people were trying to make with web search and we built a new experience around this. The number one request we get is ‘help me complete a task more quickly.'”
On Entertainment searches: “76 percent of people use search to help find and navigate their entertainment options online, but only 10 percent say they have a trusted place to go,” states Bing Senior VP Yusuf Mehdi. “So we see a great opportunity to help customers make important entertainment decisions — from deciding what movie to buy or see, which TV shows to watch online or on your TV, what music to listen to, how to find and safely play your favorite casual games – Bing is making a first step today to help make entertainment on the web easy and fun, so you spend less time searching for entertainment and more time doing the stuff you love.”
On Partnering with Yahoo: “Obviously, our long term goal is to grow and build a credible alternative in the search industry. The partnership with Yahoo has to do with the advertising. Today, all the advertisers have to buy Google as their first choice because of all the volume (65% market share) Google has. The next decision they have is whether to spend money on Yahoo (17% share) or Bing (12%) or split between the two, or put money back into Google. Once we do the migration — this fall, hopefully — there will be two options. Everyone will still buy Google, but there will be a clear second choice to buy, with roughly 30% market share. Just being able to be a credible choice, for us, is a huge step forward. And that’s what we’ll accomplish with Yahoo.” – Bing Senior VP Yusuf Mehdi
Are you happy with Bing’s new updates? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Or…you could always wish me safe travels, lots of fun, and lessons learned at my website usability session tomorrow. Til next time!