Will Bing bring in the bling for Microsoft?

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Yesterday, Bing was the third most popular search term on Twitter.  If you don’t know what Bing is by now, then you must be either living on another planet or have absolutely no interest at all in all things web-related.

Bing is Microsoft’s latest attempt to break into Google’s monopoly of internet search.  Already dismissed by  Microsoft haters, the service has been in development for several years and promises much in terms of functionality.

One of the key innovations being pushed by the IT giant is ‘guided search’.  This feature promises to quickly categorise results that don’t require the user to sift through pages of content.  I think that many users pick the first link presented to them in Google anyway so why not take on-board the recommendation of a site immediately if the results are exactly what you require?  If Microsoft are confident that they can deliver this then that’s fine with me.

The cashback scheme which is apparently intended to rival with Google Adwords, also sounds interesting.  Users will receive a small dividend each time they purchase an item through the website.  If a site rewards me for using it then this can only be a bonus!

As soon as I heard the news on Twitter, (thanks to eConsultancy!)  I raced over to the site to test out the service to find that it wasn’t actually live.  Instead I had to sit through a glossy corporate video explaining the features to me.  Surely this is a major PR gaffe by Microsoft to announce the service before it’s actually ready for people to use.

With me – and I suspect many other internet users – you only get one chance to impress before I move on to the next site waiting in the wings.  I’m unsure if I’ll have the time, or inclination, to check back with Bing once it’s actually up and running.  I’ll have to wait and see if Microsoft’s $100 million advertising campaign has the desired effect!

Have you heard about Bing and what do you think of its prospects?  Surely any realistic competition for Google is a good thing?