Why I Don’t Think Microsoft’s New Bing Search Engine is For Me

Microsoft's New Bing

Ned: Phil? Hey, Phil? Phil! Phil Connors? Phil Connors, I thought that was you!
Phil: Hi, how you doing? Thanks for watching.
[Starts to walk away]
Ned: Hey, hey! Now, don’t you tell me you don’t remember me because I sure as heckfire remember you.
Phil: Not a chance.
Ned: Ned… Ryerson. “Needlenose Ned”? “Ned the Head”? C’mon, buddy. Case Western High. Ned Ryerson: I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show? Bing! Ned Ryerson: got the shingles real bad senior year, almost didn’t graduate? Bing, again. Ned Ryerson: I dated your sister Mary Pat a couple times until you told me not to anymore? Well?
Phil: Ned Ryerson?
Ned: Bing!
Phil: Bing.

For the past two days I’ve been using Microsoft’s new Bing search engine exclusively. I’ve stopped using Google and instead used only Bing. The main reason why I did this was because I’d like to see viable competition to Google in the search engine space — plus I just like to try new things. After using Bing for two days exclusively though, I think I’ll probably be going back to Google. I’m still going to give Bing a couple more days but so far the Cons of using Bing outweigh the Pros.

As it see it, following are the positives and negatives of Bing.

Positives

1. The fact that Bing starts playing video thumbnails when you mouse over them in search results is super slick. This really helps in finding the video content that you are most interested in.

2. I really like image search on Bing. More specifically, I think the results are generally good and I *love* that I don’t have to page — that Bing incorporated live.com’s endless scrolling of search results.

Negatives

1. The biggest negative to me so far is the fact that Bing burries news search off the main page. I do many news queries every single day. Frequently I’ll be searching for something via Google and click on Google news. The fact that Bing makes you click on “more” to get to news search frankly flabbergasts me. This seems so basic that I honestly can’t believe someone at MSFT could not figure this one out. Instead of getting “news” search on the main page you get Shopping, MSN and Windows Live. How is it that MSFT has room for those search items but not “news?”

2. I’m not entirely happy with the search results. A case in point. Earlier today I was trying to find Microsoft’s Bing Blog so that I could leave some of these comments there. So I did a search on Bing for “Bing Blog” Microsoft. What comes up? Lots of less than relevant stuff, but anything but the actual Microsoft Bing Blog. What I was looking for. By contrast, I do a search for “Bing Blog” Microsoft on Google, I actually can find the Bing Blog in the first page search results.

It also feels to me like Google consistently has wikipedia entries higher up the search results list than Bing. I might be wrong on that, it’s just the impression that I got after doing several searches. Frequently wikipedia contains the most relevant info on a search subject and I like seeing them displayed more prominently.

3. The Bing stuff feels sluggish to me. Several times when I tried to load the Bing Blog (and most frustrating after I typed a lengthy comment) the page wouldn’t load. It seems to be hanging on “transferring data from analytics.r.msn.com” and so the community experience has not been good.

4. Microsoft only lets you set your settings preferences to allow 50 results per page during searches (Google by contrast allows you 100 items per search on a page). Paging sucks and the less that I have to do of it the better.

5. Microsoft Maps need a ton of work. I use Google Maps a lot. Mostly to set up maps of things that I want to photograph in various cities. MSFT seems to have a similar way to build your own maps using Bing Maps. They call them collections. I started making a “collection” of neon signs in San Francisco that I still need to shoot, but was really put off that my “collections” list is a huge box that blocks about 40% of my map view (you can’t drag this menu any place but directly over your map). With Google your saved locations sit in a column on the left side of the page and doesn’t block your map view.

Given that I use Map Search so much and that Map Search feels so clunky with MSFT, this is probably one more reason why I’d want to go back to Google.

I’m going to keep trying Bing for the next few days to see if things improve. But most likely I’ll be going back to Google as I doubt that they can improve any of the above negatives very quickly.

Update: It looks like “News” is now on the Bing home page. This definitely was not what I was seeing yesterday on the site. This is good news.

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25 comments on “Why I Don’t Think Microsoft’s New Bing Search Engine is For Me
  1. You have more patience than me: I gave it a day and couldn’t stand that lag thing (I counted 12 hippopotami) which seemed constant. I agree on the images thing: I kinda preferred the old MS image search too, but I don’t do a lot of image searches. Live (oh, make that “Bing”) Maps has one thing I like: the area around my home has “Bird’s Eye” view, which gives me 4 (NSEW) additional angled aspects. The UI clunks, somehow, against Google maps.

  2. big_marian says:

    If you don’t like to page, check out firefox extension called “AutoPager”. When you reach bottom of current page it adds to it content of the next page.

  3. Peter says:

    I get the news option on the main menu… don’t have to click on more.

    I get “web | images | news | more”…

  4. jeremy says:

    Microsoft only lets you set your settings preferences to allow 50 results per page during searches (Google by contrast allows you 100 items per search on a page). Paging sucks and the less that I have to do of it the better.

    Do you really ever go past 50 results? If so, you are an extreme, extreme minority. I think most folks don’t go past 10 results, much less 20.

    What I really think both Google and MS should do, however, is not “page” the results at all. Results should be constantly flowing/updating, in an AJAX way. There should be no pages, just an “infinite” list. I’d like to see either of them do it, because currently neither does.

    I will second what Mike said above, about the “Bird’s Eye” view. If you’ve never seen this before, it is seriously a fantastic feature.

  5. Russ says:

    Umm… the blog entry below by Taranfx looks SO similar to yours. Oh wait, it IS yours!

    http://www.taranfx.com/blog/?p=1016

  6. Smoky says:

    So first MSN became Live, but now Bing is live, i man Live is Bing, I mean MSN changed to Bing, which is now live…

  7. Mike says:

    @Russ, I think plagiarism is all that dude does. Google phrases from other stories on his “blog” and you’ll find the original sources.

  8. taranfx says:

    If reading from multiple sources and adding your own view points into stories is called copying, yes, I do copy.
    So does Gizmodo, betanews, lifehacker, TBweek, OSnews, and million others.
    All blogs copy. Guys here are the only original publishers. Hats off!

    Why don’t you guys join Reuters? :)

    I thought information is free to copy and enhance. I took something from your blog and changed to what I felt is appropriate. All blog sites do that. Relax, jealousy is not the remedy.
    Add a disclaimer to your Blog that “All information on this blog is licensed/proprietary” just like Microsoft does.
    Happy Binging!

    Googlers will stay open!

  9. Instead of getting “news” search on the main page you get Shopping, MSN and Windows Live. How is it that MSFT has room for those search items but not “news?”

    It’s Microsoft’s clumsy way of monetizing eyeballs, of course.

  10. Mike says:

    @taranfx – Utter nonsense. What you did and continue to do is *plagiarize* Thomas’s piece. The rest is secondary and your defenses are irrelevant.

  11. alex says:

    It’s totally useless.
    I’ve tried all sorts of searches and come up with absolutely nothing.
    Case in point, I did a search for ‘jQuery’ which is a popular javascript library.
    On google, the top match is jQuery.com. Even here bing gives me totally unrelated results that quite frankly seem like disinformation.
    Not to mention, I typed ‘how’ into the search field, and the top search suggestion was ‘how to kill a snakehead fish’ . For a decision engine this is a pretty lame suggestion, considering I wasn’t even searching from within the united states where snakehead fish have been popping up in local ecosystems.

    This behavious is even evident in the bing video that aired pre-launch. The people on the commercial are typing ‘what is a good hotel in dublin’ but the suggestion goes up until ‘what is a good hotel in dubai’ and proves completely useless to them.. as they have to type up to the last three letters of their query and receive no benefit from the suggestions.

    I wish I didn’t have to hate on microsoft again, but it’s a guilty pleasure of mine: watching them go down in flames.

  12. taranfx says:

    @Mike So u learned one word in childhood, the name by which you were known by your parents and people around “Plague”.
    :P

    ! Google Rocks !
    MS, don’t mess with Google!

  13. bing news says:

    Some of the point you made are well justified. Some are very subjective, but the title of this article is about you, so that’s understandable.
    I think Bing will be second in US, but worldwide will not overcome Yahoo Search

  14. wifferste says:

    The bird’s eyeview is slick, but it still has issues. The main one is if you run it on Firefox (I hardly use IE7), and you do the click and scroll, if Bing has to reload the images, it will do all sorts of weird shifts. One time you might get a displacement from your point of reference, another it might be an angle shift, even if you did not click the angle shifter.

  15. Dave says:

    When I click on my inbox from MSN Messenger, it brings me to Bing page ?
    Seeing this is enough for me to Ban Bing….

    Look and feel is too different and this is what turns me off in very new products by microsoft (Office 2003 – 2008) and (XP – Vista).
    Hummmmm Tres Amer

  16. Very nice blog, your article is interesting, i have bookmarked it for future referrence

  17. taranfx says:

    @Mike

    Sorry for plagerizing this article. I hope you forgive me and don’t fine me money for my mistakes. However, I will still keep my blog entry there because I am still keeping credit for that article, even though i didnt write it.

    ! Google Rocks !
    MS, don’t mess with Google!

  18. taranfx says:

    ok i have a new blog entry that i will create. it will be called:

    Why Gay people are important to the community? Top 5 reasons why gay people suck balls.

    ! Google Rocks !
    MS, don’t mess with Google!

  19. taranfx says:

    I have many ideas for new blog entries, but message me if you have any new ones. I just thought of one!

    Why Gaywhores suck tits!

  20. Toni Ryerson says:

    WoW! I was wondering all this! Just who made BING! I hate my cell phone!
    And who is Ned Ryerson? I’m Toni Ryerson! Figure that one out!
    This portal/modual makes me BEG for wHat I WANT!
    You make me hungry! Like sifting through you know to find the meat!
    You know love starts with the Stomache! Make me love you!

  21. 看书去吧 says:

    很久没有过来看看,博主了,拜一个迟到的晚年吧,继续努力加油,相信自己是最棒的

  22. AW Farinacci says:

    I am abandoning Bing altogether. Anything that makes me click more and still not get to what I want…is backwards and detestable. For the first time since MSN.com started, I am changing my home page.

  23. Spinnerjo says:

    I don’t like bing because I don’t want to have to click links within the link, within the links to finally arrive and the desired information.

    This comment may be late in coming, just thought I’d let folks know that it really hasn’t gotten any better since the bigining

  24. Rachel says:

    Why is this “bing” being imposed on me??? I don’t like it and I don’t want it.