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Today, Microsoft officially announced the launch of their new search engine (or “decision engine”) Bing in the UK. Whilst it was live before, they have now removed the Beta tag.

Over the last 5 months, they have been developing new search features to organise results in a user friendly way. They want to take on Google.

Key features include:

  • Alocalised UK homepage, with unique imagery and‘hotspots’- click through information boxes provide users with a wealth of information.A tool for discovery and inspiration
  • Visual Search,helps users search(maybe for a new purchase)using visual images and meta data without having to type in keywords
  • More Instant Answers, created to give users a quick response options to a search question, such as how is Liverpool doing in the premiership or which tourist attraction should I take my in-laws to at the weekend
  • See who or what is being chatted about with global live Twitter feed searching, pulling up Tweets in Bing searches in real-time
  • Looking for the best deals?- anintegrated shopping experience with Ciao UKsearches the Internet to find the best prices, reviews and local availability.Bing supports making the best shopping decisions based on community feedback – not just advertising
  • Not sure how to get there?Bing Mapsis based on insights from our Multimap users.Bing Maps now offers new map styles, imagery and transit integration as well as draggable routes
  • Bing has been built for the UK to help consumers get to key local sites and services in fewer links by including popular links, search boxes and suggestions within best match

Let’s hope we start seeing real competition again in the market.