Microsoft Bing goes live: So what?

It is not that I dislike Bing, so much as I just couldn't care less.

Now that its available, my first experiences with Microsoft Bing lead me to a simple, inescapable conclusion, "So what?" I had imagined that something as widely hyped as Bing would be a life-changing experience. It wasn't. Not even close.

It is not that I dislike Bing, so much as I just couldn't care less.

If something really must be an order of magnitude better to convince happy users of another product to switch, then Bing, launched days early as a "preview" is no threat to Google.

Actually, Microsoft calls Bing a "decision engine," which is appropriate since running a dozen of my recent searches on the service helped me make a quick decision: I like Google more.

Why?

1.   Bing is strikingly Google-like. My test searches were not chosen to show-off differences that supposedly exist between the two, just things I have recently searched for on Google. Several of them didn't even generate a Bing-generated list of related searches, one of Bing's supposedly important new features.

2.   The search results themselves were not strikingly better than what Google generated.

3.   The opening page is just, well, strange. It consists of an image of hot air balloons. Mouse over the image and boxes show up, with pointers to searches related to the image. As though I cared.

4.   Google was a stupid name that eventually grew on me. Bing seems to be trying too hard to become a verb.

I understand that all these reasons are vague to the point of being a tad lame, but that's how Bing leaves me feeling. There's nothing wrong with Bing, so much as there's nothing that makes me feel I've got to have it. Or even want to use it again.On good thing about Bing: At present, there is less advertising on search result pages. My bet is Microsoft very much wants that to change, but for now Bing pages are nicely uncluttered. That's true throughout the site, as if Microsoft broadly decided that the less information on a page, the better.

So, if Google's crowded pages are bothering you, try Bing. Otherwise, try Bing anyway and if you find something that really turns you on, drop me a note. I'd like to be excited about Bing and feel like maybe I've missed what the excitement is supposed to be about.

New product excitement is supposed to be much easier to find.

David Coursey tweets as dcoursey. E-mail him at www.coursey.com/contacts. He does not expect to be "Binging" very much.

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David Coursey

PC World (US online)

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