Bing's UK offer difficult to evaluate

The launch of Microsoft's new search service Bing may not have gone off with quite the bang it might have hoped for, but it is too early to judge the latest pretender to Google's search crown.

Bing: latest challenger to Google
Bing: latest challenger to Google

What's happened?
New service has launched

UK users logging on to Bing for the first time may well be disappointed.It's bright, easy to use and different at first glance, but very quickly it becomes clear there is not  that much to differentiate it from the Microsoft Live search service.
That's where Microsoft has made its first major mistake, because the test version of the service currently offered to users in Britain is not the same as that which is available in the US.

We will therefore not know the real impact of Bing UK until the full version launches in a few months - along with an appropriate advert­ising drive to draw the public in.

Personally, I'm a fan of simple text-based search results, but Bing's graphically led format could well catch the public imagination.

Certainly, the search industry could do with a serious contender for Google.Competition within search is good for both businesses and consumers, driving down costs and forcing through improvements in service.

Google's stranglehold on the search sector has handed it a virtual monopoly in recent years and there will be many in the media industry who will be keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that Bing can mount a serious challenge.

What is good?
Microsoft has taken a collaborative approach to Bing's development and is working closely with digital marketing agencies across Europe.

What could be better?
Microsoft should have served up the finished product in Europe. A half-finished service will initially struggle in the face of established competition.

Would I book my clients into this?
I'd certainly consider trying it for the right campaign, but the problem with emerging engines is that they rarely give the returns that Google does.

Lyndsay Menzies, Chief operations officer, Bigmouthmedia


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