Bing! From search engine to decision engine…
June 3, 2009
Microsoft launched another attempt to challenge Google’s 64% market share. The new product is called Bing, and it’s not a search engine – it’s a decision engine. Bing provides a more intensive organization to information that is pulled for a search, sorting in into common categories. So for a city name, for example, it might presort the results into weather, travel, maps, restaurants etc. The function shifts the onus of precision from the user to the engine, while at the same time fixing the categories along which results appear. Bing is organized around four common types of searches: ‘making a purchase, planning a trip, researching a health condition and finding a local business’.
Rather than casting the user as a global researcher -someone who seeks to generate and explore information in an open ended way, Bing positions the user as an everyday executive -someone who seeks to choose quickly from among a number of set options. The shifting name is not trivial. Executives, as we know, are always produced by the tools that funnel a version of the world to them and and place it in the palm of their hands. In Bing’s case the emphasis is clearly on enabling middle American consumption.