BY JIM KARPEN
What a great name: Bing. And Microsoft’s new search engine (www. bing.com) also has a simple, sprightly, attractive interface. Sound familiar? Yep, it’s Microsoft copying Google. This is Microsoft doing what it does best: imitation.
So how does Bing stack up? It’s a winner.
Like Google, there’s a simple search box and a list of search terms that pop up matching the characters you’ve entered so far, and links for image, video, news, travel, maps, and shopping.
But once you do a search, there’s a difference. In your results list, as your cursor hovers over a result, a little line appears to the right. If you let your cursor hover over that line, two or three paragraphs from the linked page pop up. This is incredibly handy. You can get a preview of the content without have to click the link and wait for the page to load. You can slide your cursor down the right side of the results and quickly preview every web page.
Video results also give a handy preview. Do a search in Bing, and you get a page of thumbnail stills from the videos—four rows of five. As your cursor hovers over each thumbnail, it plays a one-minute preview of the video, sampling various sections of it. If you click on one of the search results, the video plays in a larger window right there on the page.
The image search is also innovative. Google gives a results page with 21 images (three rows of seven), but then you have to keep clicking to get to the next page of results. With Bing, as you scroll down, it keeps filling the page with more images. You never have to tediously click to get to the next page of results.
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