Coming in With a Bing

Steve Ballmer of MicrosoftMicrosoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the release of Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, Thursday morning at the All Things Digital conference. The service will roll out over the coming days, with full deployment by June 3.

The Redmond, Wash., company designed the search engine as a "decision engine" with intelligent search tools to help simplify tasks. The engine goes beyond search to help people get answers to simplistic questions such as finding the fastest route home, as well as more complex queries that involve researching a product purchase or planning a trip.

Bing organizes popular results in several ways that are designed to help people get answers without having to guess the right way to phrase a search term. The technology moves beyond elementary search into intuitive tools to help customers make better decisions, focusing initially on four key vertical areas: making a purchase decision, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business. The results aim to provide a more powerful kind of search service.

Microsoft identified three design goals to guide the development of Bing: deliver great results; deliver a more organized experience; and simplify tasks and provide insight, leading to faster, more confident decisions. The new service, intended to do more than the standard search experience, includes deep innovation on core search areas including entity extraction and expansion, query intent recognition and document summarization technology as well as a new user experience model that dynamically adapts to the type of query to provide relevant and intuitive decision-making tools.

The new brand will include Microsoft's mapping platform, Virtual Earth, which it will rebrand as Bing Maps for Enterprise. Technology from Microsoft's April 2008 acquisition of Farecast is now a central part of Bing Travel. Microsoft's cashback program, now dubbed Bing Cashback, with more than 850 merchants and more than 17 million products available, will be fully integrated into the Bing Shopping experience.

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