When Mr. Shum shows ways that Bing outperforms Google, it tends to be around search queries with long strings of words, or deep catalogs of information (including over 3,600 ways to misspell Arnold Schwarzenegger’s name, for example). His deep neural networks of computation involve thousands of potential pieces of information for each query, and in milliseconds crunch several variants of a search around a single topic.
While I use DuckDuckGo only on my Mac, on iOS I actually have been using Bing for the past few months. I try to use Bang On when I can, but I always forget and end up in the search field in mobile Safari. Since I have Bing set as the search there, I get a fair amount of exposure to Microsoft’s little search engine. The above quote seems trivial, and on the desktop it probably is, but on iOS the above quote is one of the little things that I really like about Bing.
We all tend to misspell things, well I do, and when searching that’s a big problem. Google always gives you the passive aggressive, slightly pompous: “did you mean X” dialog, but Bing always seems to just get it right. For example I searched
black brids just now on Bing mobile, not a single prompt telling me that I might have misspelled the word, instead two small links at the top to tweak my search:
- “Including results for
- “Do you want results only for
The first result: “Blackbird” on Wikipedia. The first result of
black birds — spelled correctly: “Blackbird” on Wikipedia.
That’s not revolutionary, but my larger point is that Bing just works pretty well on iOS. It takes a lot of getting used to, but it looks nice and is fast. It’s not as good as DuckDuckGo, but I think it is just as good as Google. Should be interesting to see if adoption picks up with Windows 8 using the Windows 8 style UI.