Bing Decision Engine: Now with Visual Search
Article by George Norman
On 15 Sep 2009
Google may hold the lion’s share of web search (more than 50% to be more precise), but this does not mean you have to use the Mountain View company’s search engine. There are alternatives – for example there’s the Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine and Microsoft’s Bing decision engine. Please note that Microsoft is really adamant about you calling it a decision engine, not a search engine. Because Bing does not help you search, it actually helps you make a decision.

The Microsoft developed search engine – excuse me, decision engine – has now gotten better. Bing can now provide visual search – search results are displayed in a grid-like image gallery.


You can check out the Visual Search option here. Please note that the feature requires Silverlight to run. You should also note that visual search is only available in the US. If you are using a localized version of Bing, say for example Romania, you need to switch to United States. Just click here and select United States - English

Bing visual search was announced at the TechCrunch50 technology conference by Senior Vice President with Microsoft, Yusuf Mehdi. “The whole concept is that the world of search will change. There will be a more graphic way people will search, and it will pivot how people search,” commented Mehdi.

Visual Search is currently in Beta. As such, it only provides a few search categories: Entertainments, famous people, reference, shopping and sports. If you click on Entertainment for example and then click on 100 heroes and villains you get something like the image below. Click on Batman for example and the visual love story is over – you are directed to a search results page with text only. Perhaps this will change in time as the visual search feature moves out of Beta.

Tags: Bing, Microsoft, Decision Engine, Visual Search
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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