Microsoft’s New Search Engine Bing Rolling Out

    May 29, 2009
    Chris Crum

Update: Bing will be rolled out over the coming days, but will be available to all on June 3rd.

Original article: Steve Ballmer is speaking at the All Things Digital Conference aka D7. Microsoft’s new search engine is widely expected to be announced. Sources say it is to be called Bing. Here’s a nice video look at Bing:

11:27 (Eastern): He has talked about the economy, and calls it a "different recession." All Things Digital quotes him: “Is this a 50 year phenomenon? I don’t think so. But it’s not going to be over in three months, either.”

He was asked how the economy has affected his business. He says the company is flattening business and cost base.

When asked if search is the most imortant thing, he says “Our foremost concern is great people,” says Ballmer. “I spend more of my time on talent, than trying to be ‘the search guy.’”

They go to a video. They might be on the verge of an annoucement.

11:28: New Search Engine confirmed as Bing.

Ballmer yells BIIIIIING!

11:34: Not seeing anyting at yet. Twitterer notes that Ballmer is "verbing it up" with the new brand.

11:35: Ballmer notes that Bing will work globally (as opposed to Microsoft Live Search)

Bing will go Live on June 3rd.

11:37: Bing Logo and Press release unleashed:


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.

11:39: Ballmer says in search today back button is clicked 25% of time.

11:41: People seem to be generally impressed with the demo so far.

11:42: Ballmer shows real-time flight data

11:45: Apparently the Bing engine is showing UPS and Amazon customer service numbers for queries for tracking numbers

11:46: Live Cashback is still around, just rebranding it Bing Cashback.

11:47: Some are ready to switch to Bing. (Sheldon Laube Chief Innovation Officer PwC) (We’ll see if that catches on).

11:51: Bing lets you search for travel deals. Checks various sites for prices and has a predictor of whether fares will go up or down. (via)

11:53: All Things Digital posted some photos from the presentation.

11:55: Twitterer quotes Ballmer as saying only "google, us, yahoo" make $$ in ads on web. (possibly out of context)

11:58: Baller wouldn’t say exactly what microsoft’s search marketing goals are, but he said 20% would be "pretty helpful"

11:59: Budget for promoting Bing "is big enough that I had to gulp when I approved the budget," Ballmer quoted as saying.

11:59: Ballmer says, ""we’re the little engine that could, Walt"

12:00:  Interesting nugget as repoted by All Things Digital: 

Bing seems to be designed specifically to keep people on its search pages as opposed to sending them off to other sites. Is that what Microsoft is trying to do? Won’t this annoy content owners? Ballmer says no and adds that content deals are possible. “We’re not trying to get in the way of copyright holders,” he says. “If value should be redivided somehow between content providers, advertisers and search engines, let’s have that conversation. … we’re not trying to profit off of anyone else’s work.”

 Apparently you can hover over videos to view them right from Bing.

12:04: A little more context for that gulp quote: ""When I approved the budget, I gulped and a gulp in a $60 billion company, well, that’s a big gulp.""

Windows 7 will be out before Christmas.

12:08: On to the Q&A…

12:09: Live Search on Twitter – rebranded to @Bing.

12:14:  Scott Moore of both Yahoo and Microsoft fame says the Bing demo rocked, and "Carol better deal soon…"

12:15: No access to Bing for conference attendees.

12:17:  Ballmer says that natural language semantics will "shine through" mostly in search.

– Ballmer declined a demo search separating Paris Hilton from HIlton Hotel in Paris

 Ballmer thinks partnership with yahoo makes sense, not an acquisition (via)

12: 23:
 Ballmer’s finished talking.

(Note: sources include Tweets)