I don’t normally post stuff at the weekend but this is worth a read – Steve Lohr’s piece in the New York Times this weekend asking Can Microsoft Make You ‘Bing’? I stumbled across it while lounging on my sofa yesterday and flicking through the NY Times on my Windows Phone. I tweeted it from there and have seen other retweet over the weekend.
One interesting irony that struck me afterwards is the assertion from Qi Lu that the future of search is verbs. Google has become a verb of course, despite having an engine that largely focuses on nouns. Search engines have historically focused on finding names, cities, products etc. but the reason Bing positions itself as a decision engine is because of the relentless focus on verbs. The future of search is about helping you get stuff done - like buy a product, book a flight or a restaurant. Often you want to do that with friends (like you do in the offline world), hence the focus Bing has on the social nature of the web and the partnership with Facebook. And although not covered in the article, doing this across a range of devices – from PC to mobile to devices like Xbox – increasingly by using your voice, is also a big focus. More on that tomorrow.
Anyhoo…it’s well worth a read. As an employee I'm encouraged by the unique point of view that Bing is taking.
Once you're done with that, have a gander at www.psfk.com/need-to-know - a weekly curated series of posts top 10 posts from PSFK in association with Bing that started up this week.
I didn't find the article very interesting. For example, a paragraph describes how Bing will present information when one searches for "diabetes." It speaks of a "gray-shaded information box," followed by "diabetes articles from other professional health publications," then "links to four related conditions." All I get is ads followed by 10 hyperlinks with short extracts, followed by more ads. No innovation there.
Also, it's not apparent why I would need to know any of the things in the PSFK Need To Know document, nor why those items are the top news of the week.
@edwin the PSFK items of top of the news week as they're the most frequently viewed items on PSFK...so somebody (or hopefully some people) found them interesting.
as for the Bing results, are you saying you didn't get the results that the NYTimes article spoke of?
Make sure you are using Bing with US English on (top right corner you can change locale). The international versions don't have these features yet.
Unfortunately, I think most people are still missing the point of what Qi Lu is saying. What he said was this, "But the future of search is verbs — computationally discerning user intent to give them the knowledge to complete tasks.” And since I too also happen to work in search, this means something completely different than the what the NY Times said.
Let me give you an example. If I said something fictional like, "Bologna causes cancer". This means something completely different than, "Bologna tastes like cancer".
With the way most search engines are built today, you would find both results. But if you were a research scientist or a stock analyst, using Bing in the future, might make all the difference in the world.