Microsoft today announced the launch of its new search engine, Bing. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, will be making the official announcement this morning at the D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, CA. Bing has been the topic of many rumors and speculations in the months leading to its unveiling—mostly people wondering whether it can provide competition for Google, now the colloquial verb for searching online.
According to Microsoft, Bing can do more and outperform current search engines. While its performance is still untested, the press release lists many features familiar to Google users, including a homepage, maps (using Microsoft’s Virtual Earth ), and news feeds. It also plans on integrating shopping, travel, and health information into the site.
The images of Bing provided by Microsoft so far look like an attempt to integrate Microsoft’s operating system, Windows, with the Internet. A sensible plan, especially with Windows 7, the next OS, being another topic of conversation at the conference. Bing officially opens today, but the site won’t be complete until June 3.
Whether or not Bing can kill or even compete meaningfully with Google remains to be seen. Microsoft’s ultimate victory will only come if people ever start saying they’ll “Bing” a topic to learn more about it.