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Have You Binged Anyone Yet?

June 3, 2009

Microsoft launched its challenge to Google on Monday, with a new search engine named “Bing” designed to challenge the unquestioned industry giant. From a review at Slate:

It’s called Bing—and it’s actually pretty good. Microsoft’s long-awaited would-be Google killer is everything you’d want in a search engine. In other words, it’s just like Google: It delivers fast, relevant results, organized in a clean, thoughtful way.

Bing has a few bells and whistles to make it stand out from Google, yet not so many that new users will find it hard to understand. Indeed, it’s telling that Microsoft seems less focused on distinguishing its product from Google’s than in thinking up strategies to get people to switch. For instance, the company integrated its rewards program into Bing; now you can get cash back when you buy products that you search for. Microsoft also picked the site’s name specifically to encourage usage as a verb: In a letter to users, the Bing team offers, “We sincerely hope that the next time you need to make an important decision, you’ll Bing and decide.” I know that sounds lame. But so did “I Googled him” once—until everyone began Googling everyone else, at which point it seemed normal.

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