The search engine wars are heating up, and Microsoft has once again boosted its Bing search engine to compete with Google.
In the latest series of enhancements to its own search experience, Microsoft is expanding the HTML5 version of its Bing search engine to include an “instant search” feature similar to Google Instant. The HTML5 version – which had been previewed at www.bing.com/peek before the site was pulled down in the wake of unwanted publicity – offered a peek of what else the new Bing might have in store, such as “search previews as you type,” smoother “animations that make search come alive,” better search history interaction, pop-over windows for easy in-site navigation, and slideshows that appear for certain kinds of search results.
Bing’s HTML5 site is being timed to correspond with the launch of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9, the upcoming version of its Web browser, designed to maximize the use of HTML5 browser technology.
While Google remains at the top of the list as search engine with the highest volume of searches (at 66.69 percent), Bing, at number 3, is slowly gaining in on Yahoo!, with 13.49 percent of searches to Yahoo!’s 14.99 percent. Microsoft’s search engine is also the 6th most visited website as of March 5; Google, meanwhile, is second only to Facebook.
Partnership with Kayak
In addition to the new search engine enhancements, Bing has also formed a partnership with Kayak, a meta-search travel website that scans and links to airline and third-party travel websites for flight schedules, itineraries, and airfares.
The partnership aims to provide a more comprehensive travel search experience to Bing users. According to Krista Pappas, Global Travel Industry Director at Bing, “In the coming weeks Kayak will provide flight search results in the U.S. from multiple cities, airports and airlines, giving customers access to a larger set of flight itineraries as they work to plan and book travel on Bing.”
Kayak’s robust travel search features, meanwhile, will benefit from Bing’s own set of tools and technologies, including the Price Predictor feature (which indicates whether fares will go up or down within seven days), rate indicator, and Flight Answers.
Pappas added: “This means we can focus our development resources on delivering even more unique and valuable features for customers. In essence, this lets us do more for our customers as we continue to invest in next-generation travel experiences.”