Bing Gets “Visual Search”

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As part of its ongoing attempts to make itself seem like a more viable alternative to Google, Microsoft’s Bing has now seen the addition of what Microsoft is calling “Visual Search.”

Bing-Logo-White

Of course, whether or not “Visual Search” will ever really catch on is anyone’s guess, but for now we’ve been pleasantly surprised by it. Basically, the idea behind the new search option is that allows users to search using terms that are more descriptions of what they’re looking for than standard keywords. The example Microsoft gives is of a movie you’ve forgotten the name of starring an actor you can’t quite remember… apparently Visual Search offers a way around that.

Of course, the only real problem is that we just plain can’t see it working, but we’re sure they’re working on that. The other issues with the new feature aren’t problems as much as they are “stumbling blocks.” According to the Bing blog post on the topic, we’re told that we should,

“Simply go to www.bing.com/visualsearch and install Silverlight if you don’t have it already. What you’ll see is an amazing new search experience. Visual Search allows you to scroll through galleries or do a one-click refinement using quick tabs on the left, which are specifically relevant to the type of results you are browsing through.”

To be honest, we’d say that asking people using your search engine to go away and install Silverlight might be a bridge too far. It doesn’t really matter how successful Bing’s Visual Search is, people aren’t all that likely to install software to do a search, especially one that’s kind of hard to see the point of.

If you want to check out Bing’s new search options, you can do it here, but, as with so many other options, it’s only available in the US, so you’ll have to go to your Bing preferences and change your location accordingly.

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