launching Bing just a few days ago, Microsoft also just released a mobile version of its new search engine. Bing mobile generally works as well as Bing does on the desktop. It's a capable search engine, and Microsoft's focus on turning Bing into a 'decision engine' is even more apparent here than in the full browser version. This means, for example, that Bing Mobile will try to figure out if you are more likely to be interested in seeing recent news reports about a search term, or if you want to see a map.After
Works Well - But Not Always
Generally, this works surprisingly well, and the ability to set your location often gives you good local results. At the same time, however, some searches that worked perfectly well on the main Bing site only gave horrificly bad results on the mobile site. A search for "Portland to Newark," for example, will give you results from Farecast on the main Bing site. The mobile version brought up a list of local businesses with the word 'Portland' in their name around Newark, NJ. Of course, Bing only launched a few days ago, so we expect Microsoft to fine-tune these results over time.
For the last few days, I've had Bing as my default search engine in Firefox. After using it for a while, and after adding a few Greasemonkey scripts to enhance its functionality, Bing has really shown that it is a very useful search engine. It is very hard to break the Google habit, however, and if I hadn't set Bing as the default search, I would have probably been heading over to Google instead.
In addition to the mobile version of Bing, Microsoft also launched its new advertising campaign for the new search engine, which prominently features Microsoft's core message about Bing: it's not about finding lots of links, but about getting you the right information quickly. The ad is definitely a cut above Microsoft's Seinfeld ads from last year, though it will probably not unleash the kind of visceral reaction that a lot of people had to the Laptop Hunters ads. There, of course, Microsoft had a relatively easy target (Apple) - but it would really be hard to construct an ad that attacks Google's search prowess.