Previewed at the AllThingsD conference just a few short days ago and being christened at the start of this week’s Search Marketing Expo (SMX Adanced) at the Bell Harbor Conference Center (Jun 2-3) with a keynote presentation by Dr. Qi Lu, the new Microsoft search engine known as Bing debuts this week. The new search experience is something more than the latest “bling” in search fashion, but Microsoft’s “X-factor” in the competitive search marketplace that it hopes will ring in greater numbers of users and ring up more meaningful market share.
Bing has its roots in the acquired technology of Powerset as a “decision” search engine that is well-suited for comparison shopping among other things. The DNA is expressed in a number of domintant traits. The most fundamental trait is that Bing now organizes search results into categories that expand well beyond the Google tabs of Images,Video, Maps, News, Shopping and More… (and contrasts markedly with the more integrated Google Universal Search). There are 20 results on the Bing Engine Results Page (“BERP?”) rather than the 10 results that have become the norm for standard bearers like Google.
Microsoft is drawing on consumer research of the “next steps” searchers take after getting feedback form a search engine. A famous comment from Bill Gates is that “Search is about verbs.” Searcher want actions, not just data — to reserve a table, book a flight, call a support line. Powerset could give Microsoft the edge it has been looking for.
‘Info Mother” Esther Dyson took an early look at Bing (formerly code named Kumo) and penned, “It’s great for consumers and for marketers of products/services, but not so good for intermediaries such as Orbitz and all kinds of shopping sites.” In Dyson’s view, Microsoft is bidding to become the intermediary — or partnering with specific agents such as Open Table.
Clearly, positoning the search engine as a digital concierge that can perform actions for you is not something Google could have taken on given its dominance in Search, nor even the recalcitrant Microsoft of years ago. The timing is right for Bing, not only in terms of the ecommerce connections but in terms of the integration of Search and structured data, to take a significant step forward.
Just about a week ago, Google announced Enhanced Search Snippets and Microformats within its displayed Search Results. Now Microsoft rolls out a category system for managing search in new, structered terms. Isn’t competition sweet?![24×7] WTIA Fast Pitch Showcase Announces Power Hitters
Judges and audience members at last week’s WTIA Tech Showcase Fast Pitch Forum voted the following three innovators as “Best in Show” of the 23 Seattle-area companies that each had eight minutes to make their case.AdReady, Inc., a provider of online advertising technology
Swype, Inc., developer of a unique text input solution for mobile touch-screen devices, and TeachStreet, an education-focused online community were the triumphant trio.
Patrick Ennis, one of four panelists asked to judge the candidates, put the showdown in perspective: “It is a hackneyed phrase, but it is true—economic downturns are often the best times to build a startup company. In the chaos and confusion of turbulent times, there always lies opportunity. As industries change and contract, the marketplace is ripe for new solutions. Because despite the negative headlines in the media, people are still going about their daily activities and living their lives, and there will always be opportunities for new products and services, and for new technologies that reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of existing products and services.”
Congratulations to the winners! Each will receive Safeco Field suite tickets courtesy of the Seattle Mariners. Other participating companies included Bonanzle, BuddyTV, Daptiv, Inc., DataSphere Technologies, Inc., Gist, Inc., Konnects, Inc., LiquidPlanner, Inc., Mpire Corporation (WidgetBucks), Ontela, Inc., Pet Holdings, Inc., Picnik.com, Reality Gap, Inc., Redfin, SEOmoz Inc., Talent Spring, Inc., VANTOS, Inc., Visible Technologies, WhitePages, Inc. and Widevine Technologies.[24×7]