I’ve been increasingly using Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing in lieu of Google for my casual searches. One of the things that appeals to me is how the search results are so much more organized and comprehensive than just a list of ten text items. Google’s spartan deisgn was cool and chic ten years ago but today it feels increasingly stale, and Bing is pulling from Apple’s playbook in tailoring the interface to users’ needs. Some examples: saved searches are essential for keeping track of what you’ve been researching, and the live preview of video thumbnails on mouseover saves you a click – and getting video and photos along with text links on the same search results page is a huge timesaver. I feel like I spend less time using Bing. Right now I stil have to manually decide to go to Bing but I intend to switch the default search engine on all my browsers for a few weeks – including Chrome – and see how that works out.
Bing has been getting a lot of attention lately – there’s a piece on it in the New York Times, another in USA Today, and even a website, Bing Vs Google, that lets you see searches compared side-by-side. It’s good to shake things up – and Bing certainly has its rough spots, ut just like Google these should improve over time. The mere existence of Bing ensures that Google is forced to compete and innovate as well.