Microsoft is set to fully launch Bing, their brand new search engine on Wednesday 3 June [Update: MS says launch date is now today!]. But don’t call it a ‘search engine’; call it a ‘decision engine’ says Microsoft. Bing’s results page look remarkably like Google’s or Yahoo’s, but it will also include a set of ‘related results’ down the left side of the page.
These related results will be generated by technology created by Powerset, a company that Microsoft acquired last year. Powerset represents information in triples much like competitor Wolfram Alpha, as well as ‘answering’ questions directly.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft can pull away traffic from Google in the search engine wars. It’s really going to depend on whether Bing can provide a better search experience getting people quicker to what they’re really looking for. And that’s going to be a matter of perspective on the part of users, and not wrapped in the statistics of which engine is ‘better’.