David Stuart

Web Analyst and Consultant

Bing Roundtable: Where was the innovation?

Posted on | June 30, 2009 | 4 Comments

I spent yesterday evening at a roundtable with some of the people from Microsoft as they got feedback on Bing. Jordi Ribas, seen in the video below talking about the Microsoft Search Technology Centre in London, took us through the things Microsoft are trying to do with Bing. Basically:

  • Get the fundamentals right
  • Become less US-centric

Whilst it’s good to hear that Microsoft are moving away from a US-centric vision of search, and whilst we understand the importance of getting the fundamentals right, Bing is being built squarely within the existing search paradigm. For Bing to gain a significant market share of search they need to start thinking outside that cliched box.

Whilst O’Reilly described Google as “the standard bearer for Web 2.0“, in many ways search is still stuck in web 1.0; big search engines designed to meet the needs of the average user. Surely search 2.0 is about opening up the data and encouraging the community to create the thousands of search engines that are needed to fill the needs of the extremely long search tail.

Theoretically some of these needed search engines could be built through the Application Programming Interfaces that the search engines currently provide. However these APIs are very limited in comparison to the data the search engines actually have, and Bing’s API is the worst since the removal of some of their commands back in 2007 [Nb. "...back online as soon as possible.." has not yet materialised 2 years later].

If Microsoft want to gain search engine market share, then they need to allow programmers and researchers to work with them. Give us an API (and more) that we can really work with and we will build a million little Bings that won’t just get Microsoft its coveted second place, but first place.

UPDATE: Phil Bradley goes into far more detail of the actual discussion over at his blog.


4 Responses to “Bing Roundtable: Where was the innovation?”

  1. Phil Leggetter – Software Consultant » Microsoft Bing.com round table thoughts
    July 3rd, 2009 @ 10:38 am

    [...] David Stuart – Bing Roundtable – Where was the innovation? [...]

  2. When If Bing turns off Yahoo’s search operators: URL citations : David Stuart
    August 1st, 2009 @ 11:03 am

    [...] future of Yahoo BOSS seems unlcear, but I think the writing is on the wall. At the recent Bing roundtable I discussed the lack of operators with the general manager of Bing’s Search Technology Centre [...]

  3. Bing ’suggests’ it’s still US-centric : David Stuart
    December 5th, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

    [...] on from the Bing Roundtable back in June, I have been invited back down again on Tuesday to another conversation with the Jordi Ribas, the [...]

  4. The Future of Search : David Stuart
    December 9th, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

    [...] on from the Bing Roundtable back in June, I was invited back yesterday to have a one-to-one chat with Jordi Ribas, the General [...]

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This blog is for letting people know some of the things I am working on, although it is extremely infrequent. As my writing has expanded from blog posts to professional journal articles, and finally to books, the number of blog posts I write on my various blogs has inevitably tapered off.

Why blog? For me it turned out to be the first step on the road to a book deal!

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