Microsoft launches Bing out of beta

Microsoft’s localised search engine Bing Australia is no longer in beta mode and has made a deal with Yahoo! to power the search of Yahoo!7’s searches in Australia.

The announcement:

Bing Australia bounces out of beta
bing.com.au
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 :   Today, following more than two years of localisation and product development since its Australian launch, the Beta tag has been removed from search engine; Bing.

Bing positions itself as a new generation search engine that helps you get things done, quickly and easily.  Bing makes searching the web more instinctive.
ninemsn’s Managing Director of Audience, Alex Parsons says:
 “Australians deserve more than one search engine”.

“In 2009 we launched under Beta, a tag we promised to remove only once the Bing experience could truly satisfy Australia’s search expectations,” says Parsons. “On 15 November 2011, after more than two years of testing, product feature rollouts, investment and partnership integrations – Bing Australia is now ready to take on the Australian search market.”

Key features of Bing are:

  • Bing is task oriented – designed to help you get things done more quickly, with less queries
  • Bing is visually organised – displays search results with more than just blue links

Engineers have done an in-depth job at localising Bing global experience for Australian users. A local product team has worked with local partners to enrich the search results with relevant information to address Australians’ search needs.

Bing Australia partners and suppliers include: Australian syndicated content provider HWW, Navteq/Nokia, Sensis and Australian photographers for local Bing homepage images. Thanks to these partnerships, there are now more than 1,000 Australian attractions covered by the Bing ‘attraction feature’ and more than 1.25 million Australian local business listings in Bing local.

The latest Nielsen NetRatings results show Bing’s query share is currently sitting around 7% in Australia. Nearly 3 million Australians use Bing search engine each month (20% of all active online Australians) and local Bing users are increasing (even without any mass marketing support, yet). Traffic increased by more than 65% between June 2009 and Sept 2011.

The global deal between Microsoft and Yahoo! means that Bing now powers the organic search components of Yahoo!7’s search in Australia.

Visiting Australia to oversee the Bing milestone is Stefan Weitz, Senior Director ofBing Search USA who says: “in the next chapter of search, we understand the web isn’t just about a bunch of pages but a rich tapestry of objects, actions, and people.

“We’ve arrived at an interesting time in the development of the web and society in that merely finding information is no longer sufficient.  In our view we have the opportunity, dare we say obligation, to dramatically advance search to better make the power of the new web accessible to all.

“In the markets where the full product has been launched, namely US and UK, we have seen great growth in query share. Bing now holds 27% of the search market in the US,” says Weitz.

The removal of the Beta tag was marked with a very Australian custom home page (pictured above) featuring kangaroos in the sunset.

And – for those with a HTML-5 enabled browser, from Wednesday 16 November the Bing video homepage will come to life in Australia. Try downloading IE9 and going to www.bing.com.

Source: Bing press release

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