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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 7, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    ‘Bing’ it

    Ciara O'Brien

    Of all the names it could have come up with, Microsoft has decided to name its search engine Bing. Yes, you read it correctly. As in Chandler, from Friends.

    I can’t say it without echoing myself. Microsoft Bing *BING*.

    But what’s in a name? I can’t remember back that far, but I’m sure “Google” probably caused a few strange looks. And now it’s part of general speech. We don’t search online, we google it. I can’t can’t see “I binged it” having the same ring to it though. But anyway.

    Microsoft have apparently put a lot of thought into this. It’s mothballed Live Search and throwing all its weight behind the new search engine.

    It wants Bing (*BING*) to be a smarter search engine, and to do that they’ve added a few new features. The Explorer pane, for a start, which will find results for related searches, and users will be able to preview search results without actually clicking through to the website.

    Ok so it’s shiny and new. But calling it a “decision engine” might be a step too far for me. It’s like when people give official sounding titles to ordinary things. Sanitation engineer (cleaner). Vision Clearance Executive (window cleaner). Or how about the Education Centre Nourishment Production Assistant (dinner lady)?

    It means I can’t take them seriously.

    But anyway. I’ll give it a go. But if a search engine that promises me the chance to get paid for searching can’t tear me away from my Google habit, the chances of Bing succeeding are probably very slim.

    But it seems like some people are using it at least – according to StatCounter, the new search engine overtook Yahoo as the second most popular search engine in the US and worldwide, grabbing some of Google’s market share in the process.

    It might just be novelty, and it’s got a long way to go before it’s even sniffing at Google’s heels, but who knows? Maybe Microsoft might have hit on a winning formula with this one. If you can get past the name.