Bing Basic Discourages Exploration and Discovery
Article by George Norman
On 01 Apr 2013
Redmond-based software giant introduced Bing Basic, a new version of its Bing search engine, a version that discourages exploration and discovery (also, it makes fun of Google Search).

Each and every day, the homepage hosts a good looking image. On top of the image, the Bing team puts links to relevant bits of information related to that image. The bad thing is that Bing users find the images and the links too engaging. Instead of searching for something, they get caught up and, as the Bing team put it, they “get lost for days clicking around the homepage image.”


Since this is not beneficial to the user, Microsoft decided to redesign the Bing homepage. By introducing Bing Basic, Microsoft aims to discourage the exploration and discovery behavior mentioned above.

Michael Kroll, Principal UX Manager with Bing, explains:
So we ran some numbers on this unique online behavior, did some ethnographic research to study habits and tastes; and then took a shot at redesigning Bing’s homepage to discourage this behavior of exploration and discovery. So today we’re running a special test, where if you visit bing.comenter a certain telltale query, you’ll get something a little more bland. We decided to go back to basics, to the dawn of the Internet, to reimagine Bing with more of a 1997, dial-up sensibility in mind. We may see some uptick in our numbers based on this test, but the main goal here is just to learn more about how our world would look if we hadn’t evolved.”

The “telltale query” Michael Kroll mentioned above is, drum rolls please, “Google”. Type in “Google” into Bing and you will be presented with the following.

Speaking about Google, the company ran its regular barrage of gags. Google announced the new Google Nose (Beta), a new Blue edition of Gmail, the fact that it is shutting down YouTube, and more. You can read about all of Google’s April Fools pranks here. Enjoy!

Tags: April Fools, Microsoft, Bing, Google
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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