Visual Search for Bing (1.9), v2.0 this Fall

Last Updated on Monday, 14 September 2009 10:06 Written by Mire_B Monday, 14 September 2009 02:29

But don’t call it Bing 2.0, Microsoft doesn’t want you to. It’s an update, seeds planted some time ago, the fruits will be ripe for the picking this fall. I actually knew earlier this summer that Microsoft was working on a Bing Silverlight hybrid. Yes, sure, it’s easy for me to say this now. And yes, I should have spilled the beans, right, that’s enough agricultural metaphors, I promise, but I should have blogged about it when I first had the chance. In my defense, I had the Bing + Silverlight part, but couldn’t figure out for the world what was Microsoft planning.

I’m going to have to go through my notes, as I recall I had come out with some pretty wild speculation. Nothing as “mild” as Visual Search. But now, that I see Visual Search I think that I wasn’t all that far off. If I’ll find something interesting I’ll post it. Meanwhile, play with Visual Search.

From the Bing blog: How many times have you seen a movie trailer and forgotten the name of it the next day? You go online to search for it but you can’t seem to find the movie with “what’s-his-name” in it anywhere but you can picture the actor in your head. A study conducted by Microsoft Research shows that consumers can process results with images 20% faster than text only results. So it’s clear that images play a big part in helping consumer’s with a variety of search activities.

We have taken this to heart with Bing’s new Visual Search feature announced today as a beta at TechCrunch50. Visual Search is a new way to formulate and refine your search queries through imagery, particularly for sets of results that tend to be more structured. We call these data groupings galleries. Simply go to and install Silverlight if you don’t have it already. What you’ll see is an amazing new visual search experience. Visual Search allows you to quickly scroll through the galleries or do a one-click refinement using the quick tabs on the left, which are specifically relevant to the type of results you are browsing through.

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