updated 12:10 pm EDT, Thu May 28, 2009
Microsoft today tried to rekindle its search engine efforts through Bing (link active soon), a new service it hopes will fix problems with conventional search. The new tool is organized around common tasks like shopping or trip planning and has an Explore Pane that automatically suggests navigation and searches; it also has a "best match" to highlight what Bing thinks is the best answer and, in certain cases, shows the information the user was looking for on the page itself rather than requiring an additional click.
When shopping, it can find user opinions and reviews of products, while travel searches will compare prices at different providers.
The service should gradually become more accessible over the next few days and should be fully ready by June 3rd.
Microsoft's entry is a critical step for the company, which has so far failed to dislodge Google from its top spot in search and eventually backed out of a possible takeover of Yahoo it had intended would give Google valid competition by combining market share. The Redmond-based firm posted a rare revenue drop this past winter due to troubles in its core Windows business and without significant compensation from its Live search services.