With Google hugely dominant in the global search engine market, Microsoft appears to be trying to refine its target audience, and announced a new business-centric approach for its search engine Bing last week.
In a post on the Windows Forum, it revealed that it was to start focusing on businesspeople, describing Bing as the “search engine for business”.
With this in mind, tweaks to Bing that were mentioned in the post include:
– the ability to search for businesspeople using everyday language – such as by their company/organisation name, office location or job title – and be presented with accurate results
– enhanced directions to office locations, including floor plans
– a question-and-answer approach to finding internal information about companies
– easy-to-find definitions of business acronyms and abbreviations
Included in this move towards aiding businesses is the Microsoft browser Edge, the rebranded name of its traditional Internet Explorer, with the company noting that we spend well over half our time on PCs using internet browsers. A new release candidate for Edge can be downloaded for both macOS and Windows, and it includes new features in tracking prevention, along with a Collections tool to help collaborate and analyse web content. Edge has also unveiled a new logo, resembling the familiar lower-case ‘e’ of Internet Explorer, but consisting of a sea wave.
Although there is little sign of Google losing its status as the search engine of choice for most of us, companies would be wise not to ignore Bing completely. This is especially the case for US firms, with a GizChina.com article reporting that Bing boasts a 25% share of the American search engine market. It also powers many searches via Yahoo! and the environmentally conscious alternative Ecosia.
Time will tell whether Bing comes to be seen as the go-to business search engine, but Microsoft’s somewhat ham-fisted management of business social media site LinkedIn will leave some observers doubtful.