Bing Tries More Pictures, Less Text

Some Bing search results pages will now show pictures instead of text.

The new feature is called “visual search” and uses Microsoft’s Silverlight technology.

The AP:

Microsoft Corp. is testing a way to display some search results as galleries of moveable images instead of text links. That’s part of the ongoing attempt to differentiate Microsoft’s Bing search engine from Google.

Bing’s new visual search page lets people flip through pictures to track down where and when a popular movie is playing, read up on baseball players or shop for items like digital cameras.

Microsoft picked about 50 categories and worked with outside companies, including shopping sites, to pull in the necessary pictures and descriptions.

Neat feature, but we don’t think anyone will switch to Microsoft’s (MSFT) search engine because of it. Despite the marketing campaigns out of Microsoft and Yahoo (YHOO), people like 10 blue links on their search results pages. Google servers them up well, so people have little reason to switch.

Here’s what a reader told us on the topic:

I switched to Bing 2 weeks ago because I was tired of looking at the Google home page on my home, work, and road computers. I wanted something new.

Regrettably for Microsoft I switched back. The reason: like you said Google works, Bing doesn’t. 8 out 10 searches came up either wrong or bubkus. Whereas with Google it’s always there and it’s always right. It’s sometimes nice to have new products to play with, unfortunately if they don’t work properly they end up on the scrap heap of tech.

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