Bing announced the launch of Bing Central. The company calls this “one location for you to explore Bing services and features by completing fun missions, manage your Bing Rewards account, redeem great rewards in the redemption center and access account support as well as your profiles and preferences for Travel, Finance, and Shopping.”
Put more simply, “Bing Central gives you a hub to manage everything you do with Bing.”
That statement actually brings me to a whole separate point about Bing that I’ve been meaning to bring up in an article since I sat in on Bing’s Duane Forrester’s session at BlogWorld last week, so I'm just going to talk about it here.
In his discussion about search and social, he talked about search engines having trouble connecting your various web IDs together as you as a person. For example, I am Chris Crum. That’s my name, and it’s my identity on services like Google or Facebook, but on a lot of other services I use ccrum237 or other things.
In the Q&A portion of the session, I mentioned that Google Profiles allow you to connect these various accounts to you as a person. You can include these various links to your different accounts, and let Google know that these things are you.
I asked why Bing doesn’t allow for something like this, particularly since who you are is becoming such an important signal on the web, and many people have various accounts with different non-identifiable user names all over the web.
His response in a nutshell was that this isn't one of the things users say they want. Bing asks what features users would like to see implemented, and they try to implement them as such, when feasible.
Another difference between Microsoft (which owns Bing obviously) and Google are the philosophies around their products. He referenced recent comments by Eric Schmidt, saying that Google is all one product. Microsoft, on the other hand is comprised of all kinds of different products, and that’s the way they view it. Google’s view (at least by my understanding) is that its various products are more like features of one greater product (which is actually how I’ve tended to look at it myself, which is why I consider Google+ to really be a lot bigger than people typically tend to view it as).
Forrester talked about how they could use things like Windows Live ID, but then there are potential legal issues that could come about when trying to use that stuff.
So, basically, what I took away from this conversation is that Google should theoretically be better at figuring out who you are (across the services you use). Granted, Forrester did not say that, but considering Google’s push for authorship markup, and the fact that that is tied to your Google profile, I’d say including more links to your various profiles around the web is a good way to give Google a better idea about who you are as a web personality, which could very well send signals about your credibility on certain topics, and show your various connections on the web.
Here's an interview WebProNews did with Forrester at BlogWorld: