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Bing, as announced today, is Microsoft’s latest variation of its search platform. A screenshot of the Bing introductory video - click to view.The search engine is supposed to marry a myriad of search verticals to create a one-stop-shop for netizens. For example, according to this official introductory video the search engine will incorporate price comparisons and reviews for everything from flights, to hotels and electronics. It also appears to include a hefty dose of local content for anyone trying to choose a restaurant in their area or needing directions.

Screenshots of the major functions of Bing are available in this extensive virtual presskit Microsoft has kindly made available. Personally, I am going to hold off posting any polished screenshots on the StepForth Blog until I can test the search engine myself and see if the results are as good as portrayed. With luck Microsoft will have created a real contender in the search market but I am fraught with deja vu so enough with that line of thinking.

What About Live? or Kumo, or MSN… Whatever…

Is this an additional search engine at Microsoft or is it replacing Live.com? If you are confused then I am certain you are in good company - including myself. Well this screenshot at Gizmodo shows a note at the top right of the Bing screen saying “Live Search is evolving - Tour Bing” so I gather Live Search will be no longer. Indeed it appears Microsoft is devilishly happy screwing up its search branding every couple of years… I don’t know about you but I am VERY tired of it all. I hope they stick to their guns this time… heck I was just getting used to Live.com.

What I find the most ironic is that Bing’s slogan is “The world doesn’t need just another search engine, it needs a decision maker”. I guess that means Microsoft will be using Bing to make its decisions from now on.

More on Bing to come soon.