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Microsoft has finally come up with a search engine that can compete with Google, said Rafe Needleman in CNET News. The newly unveiled Bing—a “rebranded and rebuilt” version of Live Search available to the public next week—is “a solid improvement, and it beats Google in important areas.” For one thing, Bing’s presentation is “far superior,” in part because it helps users save time by giving them a window where they can see an excerpt from each item in their search results.

That won’t be enough to make Bing replace Google as the generic word for Web search, said Eric Auchard in Britain’s The Guardian. “Many of the features Bing incorporates have been tried by smaller Web search providers and failed to make a dent” in Google’s search-audience share. Microsoft will never build a Google killer until it can make it’s search engine an “all-purpose tool” that helps users of Outlook, Office, and Explorer find the emails, documents, and Web pages they use every day.

“Bing won’t replace Google as the world’s default search engine,” said Brier Dudley in The Seattle Times. But Bing’s clustered search results—with thumbnails for videos, and product reviews for shoppers—are useful, and should boost Microsoft’s search share higher than its current 8 percent, compared to Google’s 64 percent of U.S. searches. So, be glad—”it’s nice to have alternatives” to …. read more