Changes are afoot over at Bing. The world’s third favourite search engine, which is soon to be adopted by Yahoo (the second most popular), have announced a raft of changes designed to improve user satisfaction and develop their burgeoning social media interaction.
The integration of Twitter has been on the cards for some time, even though it was only finally confirmed last month [see: Google and Microsoft Complete Twitter Deal to Herald Real-time Search Era], so this is certainly a major part of the ‘Decision Engine’s’ revamp. Their Facebook tie-in was something of a surprise, arguably even more so the latest announcement also points towards a Wolfram Alpha collaboration.
For those who aren’t familiar with Wolfram Alpha, it is essentially a semi-intelligent ‘Answer Engine’. So if you want to find out the population of Liechtenstein or the answer to a complex equation, it will provide an answer along with other associated statistics. Very clever indeed, although sadly it remains a much underused resource. Bing could certainly change all of that. If you want to find out more about Wolfram Alpha read our earlier post entitled Wolfram Alpha is Released…Finally, or even the Wolfram Alpha site itself.
Other improvements will include an update to Bing Maps, a hover preview tool that allows you to try before you click and improved travel information, including flight prices and dates. Finally it seems Bing is taking real steps to fulfil its promise as the world’s first Decision Engine. With Bing taking over the reins at Yahoo in the not too distant future, it needs to fine tune its commercial edge and show the world why they should abandon Google.
The changes won’t be in effect on UK searches for a few days yet as Microsoft will be rolling out the changes on the other side of the pond initially. If you would like to find out more about the updates, visit the Bing Community Blog.