Microsoft steps up pressure on Google
Microsoft's Bing search engine has just got a beta search
and shopping tool called Visual Search which offers an alternative to lists of
blue links that are often delivered by search engines when researching cars,
cameras, or other topics.
Yusuf Mehdi, a senior vice president at Microsoft said
that instead of displaying traditional lists of Web site search results, Bing's
Visual Search displays rows images of items that can be scrolled through via a
slick interface. If you tap in 'handbags' you get traditional results. But
if you look on the left-hand side of your search results and you'll see an
option to "Visualize" the search.
Clicking on this link takes you to the Visual Search
page, which allows you to scour images. The tool also offers refinement options
to narrow the number of images by criteria such as price, movie theater, or
team (when searching for sports).
Microsoft says Visual Search will be rolled into Bing
over the next few weeks with some customers seeing it before others. By the end
of September, company representatives say, the feature will be live to all.