With rumors of a delay put to rest, Microsoft has officially launched Bing UK, the localised version of its new search engine.
Officially out of beta, the UK will become the third country after the United States and Canada to receive it’s own version of the search engine.
The UK version of the site includes:
- A localised UK homepage, with unique imagery and ‘hotspots’ – click through information boxes provide users with a wealth of information. A tool for discovery and inspiration.
- Visual Search, helps users search (maybe for a new purchase) using visual images and meta data without having to type in keywords.
- More Instant Answers, created to give users a quick response options to a search question, such as how is Liverpool doing in the premiership or which tourist attraction should I take my in-laws to at the weekend
- See who or what is being chatted about with global live Twitter feed searching, pulling up Tweets in Bing searches in real-time.
- Looking for the best deals? – an integrated shopping experience with Ciao UK searches the Internet to find the best prices, reviews and local availability. Bing supports making the best shopping decisions based on community feedback – not just advertising.
- Not sure how to get there? Bing Maps is based on insights from our Multimap users. Bing Maps now offers new map styles, imagery and transit integration as well as draggable routes.
- Bing has been built for the UK to help consumers get to key local sites and services in fewer links by including popular links, search boxes and suggestions within best match.
Microsoft has been rolling out features by the dozen in an attempt to disrupt Google’s search dominance, most recently including site previews and enhanced product search.
In the US, these efforts have proved somewhat fruitful. Bing has seen some success across the pond with latest figures showing Bing’s share of search at 9.57 per cent. Not something that is likely to concern Google too much but will definitely ruffle a few feathers and give Google an extra push to innovate.
In the UK, Bing’s share of search currently stands at around 3 per cent, virtually identical to its predecessor Windows Live Search.
Microsoft has so far spent $2 billion on rebuilding and rebranding its search effort. Will be interesting to see what success its UK marketing push will bring.
Try out Bing UK here.