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Bing 2.0 in the Wings?

     
2:17 am on Sep 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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[internetnews.com...]

However, that's just what happened. According to tweets coming from employees attending Thursday's Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) annual employee meeting at Safeco Field in Seattle, an update to the search engine called "Bing 2.0" is scheduled to be announced possibly as early as next Monday, September 14.

According to several employee tweets, Bing 2.0 will feature the integration of Microsoft's Silverlight streaming media technology with maps and photos.

2:43 am on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Are they going to enlarge the search box too? *grin*
7:30 am on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So I guess Silverlight's adoption rate is so bad that they have to shove it down people's throats?
8:15 am on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Some clues here:

[webmasterworld.com...]

8:27 am on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Are they going to enlarge the search box too? *grin*

It looks like Google followed Bing actually.
12:15 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Personally, I like Silverlight. Anything is better than using flash.
Anyway, sounds like 2.0 will be something entirely different for an interface. I'm ready.
2:18 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Anything is better than using flash.

Off topic: Lesson learned the hard way recently: If you have a movie on your web site you need everyone--even grandma--to be able to watch, nothing is better than flash.

2:43 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Off topic: Lesson learned the hard way recently: If you have a movie on your web site you need everyone--even grandma--to be able to watch, nothing is better than flash.

Fortunately, the new HTML5 video tag is going to remove that need entirely. YouTube/Google already confirmed they will use it. Then, most people won't need Flash (except some web gamers).
3:00 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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flash was shoved down everyones throat.

I like surfing the web in my 64bit browser that doesn't have a flash plugin, no annoying ads jumping around talking to me.

3:10 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Off topic: Lesson learned the hard way recently: If you have a movie on your web site you need everyone--even grandma--to be able to watch, nothing is better than flash.

Fortunately, the new HTML5 video tag is going to remove that need entirely. YouTube/Google already confirmed they will use it. Then, most people won't need Flash (except some web gamers).

Well HTML 5 audio/video with flash fall-back is fantastic.

Flash guarantee backward compatibility and HTML 5 future compatibility. Feels like i wont need to touch the code or media for the next 5 years... XD

4:29 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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>I like surfing the web in my 64bit browser that doesn't have a flash plugin, no annoying ads jumping around talking to me.

It's a trade-off. Any technology content creators can use, advertisers will use, and more of it.

IIRC, a 30-second commercial for prime time TV costs about as much to produce as a 1-hour (well, 38-minute-and-shrinking) network TV show.

5:17 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Reading through the article, it appears that this pig needs more lipstick.

Bing has been well received by some users since its launch but it still hasn't begun any kind of serious onslaught against market leader Google.

When the core of this search engine is actually fixed, then it might make some progress. Everything else is just window dressing.

6:19 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Silverlight, Flash, HTML5 media - developers can make their own decisions as to which technology to implement (just like consumers can choose which plugins to allow or disallow on their machines).

That's all fine with me. Yet another attempt from the boys in Redmond to "redefine the web" is not.

Integrating their proprietary technology in the 3rd most visited search engine is simply a way to coerce users to download their client software. A misguided attempt to change the de-facto standard and force developers into licensing the MS toolkit.

Whether that software is good or bad is beyond the point.

11:55 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft SilverLight could actually be a really good thing if you consider the cost of Flash: $700. SilverLight needs to gain market share naturally and it's not actually guaranteed that prices would be lowered by Microsoft and/or Adobe.

As far as 64-Bit browser comment about not seeing Flash ads, I don't see them at all using Firefox and Adblock Plus.

As I reiterate each time Flash and SilverLight are best implemented as compliments and not as alternatives to XHTML and CSS. HTML5...well with some of the stuff I am seeing is not something I'll be using.

- John

3:05 am on Sept 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This makes an intresting read (Google/Bing war in the media full on. "The Age" is a major Australian newspaper):

Bing sparks search war
[theage.com.au...]

The reason is satisfaction. Not enough of it. All those wacky, disorganised, dead-end search results are eroding our loyalty to Google.

A recent Harris Interactive poll confirms our disillusion, revealing it takes people an average six search queries to arrive at their intended destination and even then 50 per cent of us remain disappointed by the experience.

Music to my ears!

-

4:40 pm on Sept 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A recent Harris Interactive poll confirms our disillusion, revealing it takes people an average six search queries to arrive at their intended destination and even then 50 per cent of us remain disappointed by the experience.

Considering the kinds of searches people do, that sounds pretty good. How is a search engine supposed to know whether a person searching on "widgetco vacuum cleaners" is interested in a manufacturer's product site, a dealer site, a review, an instruction manual, a troubleshooting page, or a forum where people talk about Widgetco vacuum cleaners?

Switching from Google to Bing, Bing to Google, Yahoo to Bing or Google, or Bing or Google to Yahoo won't solve the bigger problem: namely, that people don't know how to search, and there's no reference librarian to do the work for them when they show up at Google, Bing, or Yahoo and try to guess how to find the information they need.

5:17 pm on Sept 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Six search queries on average sounds "pretty good"? That seriously made me laugh. I'd stop using any search engine that is as poor...
6:20 pm on Sept 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The problem is that some people type things like "holidays" and kind of expect that they will get back a list of holidays that they are interested in. What Bing should do is pull in "holiday" information from many sources....travel agency sites, review sites, sponsored links, affiliate type ads, Facebook, Youtube, etc. A cookie could then be dropped and next time that user does a search, previous search history is taken into account. This happens on Google to some extent already, but Bing has gone a bit more public about what they would like to achieve.
7:26 pm on Sept 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've pretty much been using bing exclusively for the past few weeks and have grown accustomed to it. I see new improvements daily and like what i see.

The killer app for microsoft though really seems to be Silverlight. Especially if silverlight runtimes are incorporated on Zune HD & Windows Phone. If the extra functionality such as maps, shopping and especially access to Office 10 over the web is done through http/silverlight/html then bam, you have a great system that works from desktop to handheld and could really expand the bing brand

7:41 pm on Sept 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Six search queries on average sounds "pretty good"? That seriously made me laugh. I'd stop using any search engine that is as poor...

But what if it's the searcher who deserves your sarcastic laughter?

Let's say that the searcher begins with "Elbonian holidays" (a slightly more focused version of sem4du's "holidays" example):

- Is he looking for tourist-information sites, such as Visit Elbonia (a.k.a. the Elbonian National Tourist Office) or the Elbonian section of TravelAdvisor or Lonesome Earth?

- Is he looking for Elbonia holiday packages or tours?

- Is he looking for holiday rentals, holiday camps, or resorts in Elbonia?

- Does he want a list of Elbonian national holidays for a school report?

Unless our hypothetical searcher has the common sense to begin with a highly specific search phrase, such as "elbonia tourist office" or "elbonia escorted tours" or "elbonian national holidays," any search is going to be a crapshoot, and he should consider himself lucky if he finds what he's looking for on the first try.

To make matters even more complicated, there are many cases where two or more wildly different results for a search are correct: A search on "Venice" or "Moscow" could refer to Italy or California in the first instance and Russia or Idaho in the second. If I one met a guy named John Smith from Widget City and I search on "John Smith in Widget City," the search engine may yield dozens or even hundreds of results. It's up to me to tell the search engine whether I'm looking for the John Smith who graduated from Widget City High School in 1979 or the John Smith who wrote Widget City: A Pictorial History in 1996.

The bottom line is that search engines can't read searchers' minds. To borrow an expression from the days before Bing, Google, or Yahoo, "Garbage in, garbage out."

9:14 pm on Sept 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I agree with signor_john and pretty much everyone else -- there is much room for improvement in the way people search AND in the way the results come back.

In my experience with non-geek types, I must train them to do what I need (for example, how to name their digital photos to go onto their webpages), and I think the same holds true for all the search engines -- there is much to be gained by subtly teaching people as they simultaneously provide the results.

So right now if you go to Google and type in "widdgets", they'll come back with "Do you mean 'widgets'?". Very good -- they're trying to teach people proper spelling.

But beyond that, they need more refinement, with perhaps an unintrusive extra column on the far left or far right of the screen: "Do you mean widget manufacturers?" ; "Do you mean wholesale widget distributors?" ; "Do you mean the history of the widget?" etc etc -- a series of specific questions based on what they think the person likely means.

So in other words, they'd be teaching people how to compose a search query and at the same time they'd be refining it for them with each subsequent attempt. Over weeks/months/years, people can learn to do it more correctly, so instead of an average of 6 attempts, it could drop to 2.

...........................

9:24 pm on Sept 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Unless our hypothetical searcher has the common sense

That's the key part. As far as I can see around me (and I daily meet people of all classes and backgrounds), most people actually do have common sense when it comes to using modern technology. Only a small minority are true fools expecting miracles, such as reading their minds, and other silly stuff.

And I'm serious. Six searches on average across the board looks definitely like poor SERPs. Just think about it. It's the average, which means it's often many more queries than six.

[edited by: true_INFP at 9:25 pm (utc) on Sep. 12, 2009]

9:25 pm on Sept 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Personally, I like Silverlight. Anything is better than using flash.

One proprietary technology to replace another? What we need is an open standard, which Flash is becoming.

7:53 am on Sept 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I agree about open standards, but Microsoft still wants to lock down people to programs, hence the launch of IE7 soon.

They are probably working on other stuff too....

Bing will become some sort of platform that has 'feeds' from multiple sources that people are looking for.

They will hold:
a browser (IE7)
a search engine (Bing)
an online media player (Silverlight)
a handheld media player (Zune)
server farms (running Windows of course)
have access to online publications (including MSN)

....the list is endless as they will simply aggregate and/or buy new content providers to provide knowledge and products to the masses.

They also have access to a huge "war chest" of money built up from sales of Office and Windows products.

I have heard that they have $2bn in marketing budget just to launch Bing....and a search for "bing commercials" on Google or YouTube brings up some interesting ads...

It is going to be a very interesting time leading up to Christmas and into the New Year...

2:46 pm on Sept 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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But beyond that, they need more refinement, with perhaps an unintrusive extra column on the far left or far right of the screen: "Do you mean widget manufacturers?" ; "Do you mean wholesale widget distributors?" ; "Do you mean the history of the widget?" etc etc -- a series of specific questions based on what they think the person likely means.

The Google "related searches" option shows a long list of related search suggestions. I assume that Bing has something similar. The challenge is in getting people to use such options. (Maybe "related searches" could be "opt out," not "opt in"?)

5:40 pm on Sept 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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One proprietary technology to replace another? What we need is an open standard, which Flash is becoming.

How is flash becoming an open standard?

10:43 am on Sept 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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> When the core of this search engine is actually fixed,

I run a proxy searcher. It goes out to my default SE, grabs 50 results, and presents them back to me in a standard format with out all the "universal search" and advertisement noise. Two months ago, I adapted that proxy to work with Bing. I use it about 50% of the time (vs just doing a browser based search). It was about mid last week, when I remembered I had switched the default to Bing. I had totally forgotten I was using Bing over Google.

Other than a random 'foo' result, I am starting to lean towards Bing as having better, more relevant results on the whole than Google or Yahoo.

The biggest difference between Google and Bing, is that Bing results are far less commercial. Where Google will show you 4 of 10 results being commercial websites - Bing will show you a couple and those 2-3 are not necc in the top 3 slots like Google.

So I am finding sites I have never seen in pet keyword territories that Google - with it's top heavy commercial (spammed/bought-n-paid-for) results have never show me. I like it.

New Bing Features:
[webmasterworld.com...]

2:54 pm on Sept 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I am starting to lean towards Bing as having better, more relevant results on the whole than Google or Yahoo.

In my niche, there are truly significant problems with Bing. I've posted examples on this forum as well as Bing's webmaster forum. I see the same site taking the first 6 places for a search and the results are junk. This is a VERY competitive niche with a lot of incentive to get to the top.

We get about five referals a day from Bing - mostly from countries outside of the US. This makes no sense based on our content.

We've inquired about possible penalties and we've been told we need more links. When we look in their webmaster tools, we're all green. We've got hundreds of quality link over the past five years.

For Google and Yahoo we hear stories about penalties - and here there is agreement on penalties with the webmaster and SE. Bing is the only SE that we know of that cannot provide any direction as to why a site might not rank (for their own trademarked name). We've been told repeately there is no penalty, so we can only conclude Bing has problems that other SEs have since resolved.