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Bing is an Internet search engine launched by Microsoft in 2009 as a direct competitor to Google search. The website advertises itself as a "decision engine" that aims to deliver faster and slightly more relevant search results for its users. As of May 2014, Bing is ranked the second most popular web search engine in the United States.
Early Microsoft Search Engines
In 1998, Microsoft launched MSN Search, which contained a search engine, index and web crawler. On September 11th, 2006, MSN Search was replaced with Windows Live Search. In 2007, the engine was rebranded as "Live Search" and merged with Microsoft adCenter.
According to Wikipedia, Microsoft used focus groups to come up with the name "Bing," which was chosen for being short, memorable and easy to spell. On May 28th, 2009, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the company's plans to launch the Bing search engine the following month. On June 1st, Bing was released for the public, replacing Live Search.
In June 2010, Facebook integrated Bing to provide web search results in the Facebook search page. On June 10th, 2013, Apple announced it would be switching from Google search to Bing as the default search engine for Apple devices.
The Bing user interface displays a daily changing background image, typically featuring notable geographic locations, animals, people and sports. The site's left side panel contains navigation options, related searches and prior searches. When displaying video search results, the site displays thumbnails which begin playing a preview on mouse-over. For some search queries, Bing displays "instant answers" in the results page, including sports scores, stock information, mathematical calculations, dictionary definitions, translations and flight tracking.
Ballmer Firing Bing Employee Sketch
On December 16th, 2009, YouTuber Scott Rose uploaded a video in which his friend Ernie Brandon tells a humorous story about being fired by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for not saying "Bing" properly during a company meeting (shown below). The video was meant to be a teaser for a comedy screenplay the pair were working on, but was widely posted across the Internet as if it were true.
Bing has a reputation for providing more Internet pornography search results than competitors like Google. Additionally, the site's video search tool will play previews of adult film results in the thumbnail.
On April 10th, 2014, Redditor dirkdiggler7678 submitted a post titled "Why does everyone say that Bing is great for porn?" to the /r/OutOfTheLoop subreddit, where the top-voted comment responded that Google's search filters remove most pornographic content, even if the user has turned off "Safe Search." On June 24th, 2014, The Daily Dot published an article titled "How Bing became the search engine for porn."
World Cup Predictions
During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Bing's prediction technology managed to correctly predict all 15 winners for each knockout match, failing only to forecast Holland's win over Brazil in the third-place match. To make the predictions, Microsoft used team records, past victory margins and other data to determine which team was more likely to win.
As of July 2014, Bing has a global rank of 25 and a United States rank of 11 on the traffic analytics site Alexa.