Microsoft revealed it will release the new Bing search engine on Wednesday, June 3. The software giant refers to the new search engine as a "decision engine", which goes beyond search to help customers deal with information overload. Bing will initially focus on four key vertical areas: making purchase decisions, planning trips, researching health conditions and finding local businesses.
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.