Microsoft's Bing is live

During the past few weeks there's been quite a bit of talk about Microsoft's new search engine, Bing. Plenty of industry insiders have gotten a chance to use it, and generally the buzz has been favorable.

Well, finally we regular guys and gals can form our own opinion, as Bing went live overnight (though it is still tagged as a preview version).

It's very hard to judge a search engine's results without using it under 'real world' conditions for a few days, or even weeks, but I do like some of the extras that Microsoft offers. There's a left column that has things like related searches, filters based on types of content (e.g. videos) and suggested related searches. Hover over the right edge of a search result and a snippet from the page will pop up in the right column, giving you a bit more data before you decide to click off to that result.

Are these additions enough to lure people away from Google? Are the Bing search results as useful as Google's? Only time will tell. For a lot of us, Search is kind of an invisible feature of the web. We use it but don't really notice it, or think about what engine we're using; our browsers come with some search engine pre-selected and we just use that. IE's search function now uses Bing by default, and that may be enough to help it gain traction as long as the results are 'good enough' that we don't take the extra step of changing that setting.

Give Bing a try and let us know what you think. Are the extra features helpful to you? Are you planning to switch? Please leave a comment and let us know!

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