Microsoft readies launch of Bing search engine

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Microsoft readies launch of Bing search engine

Microsoft is renewing its battle against Google with the launch of Bing, a "decision engine" that the firm said goes beyond search.

Essentially Microsoft is trying to make it easier to use the web for specific types of decisions.

In this regard, Bing will begin by focusing on helping users to make a purchase decision, plan a trip, research a health condition or find a local business.

The news follows hot on the heels of the launch of Wolfram Alpha, a 'computational knowledge engine' which, much like Bing, is not aimed at general search, but at specific requirements.

"Today, search engines do a decent job of helping people navigate the web and find information, but they don't do a very good job of enabling people to use the information they find," said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

"When we set out to build Bing, we grounded ourselves in a deep understanding of how people really want to use the web.

"Bing is an important first step forward in our long-term effort to deliver innovations in search that enable people to find information quickly, and use the information they've found to accomplish tasks and make smart decisions."

Google has a tight stranglehold on the general search market, and it makes sense for competitors to concentrate on niche requirements in order to try and gain share.

Services such as Bing and Wolfram Alpha are clearly aimed at giving users an alternative to solving specific issues at which general search is not as effective.

Microsoft said that the Bing brand will also be integrated into several of its other products, such as Virtual Earth, which becomes Bing Maps for Enterprise; Bing Shopping, which includes the introduction of Bing Cashback; and Bing Travel, which uses its acquisition of Farecast.

Bing.com is just a blank screen at the moment, but Microsoft said that the service will begin to roll out over the coming days with a full global launch on 3 June.

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