Bing Is One Year Old, Inspires Google Home Page Backgrounds

One year after Live Search died

A “Happy birthday!” is in order for Microsoft’s decision engine. Around this time last year, Microsoft dumped the Live Search brand altogether, overhauled its search efforts, came up with the “decision engine” service and promised to filter the clutter of traditional search engines. This is how Bing was born, featuring an official label designed to replicate the ‘sound of found.’

“One year ago today, we launched Bing. It’s been a whirlwind 12 months, with the team shipping tons of new cool features aimed at making it easy and fast to make key decisions and just get stuff done,” Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president, Online Audience Business Group, revealed. “We wanted to take a short break to say thanks. Thanks to all our customers who have used the service, sent feedback, become partners, told us where we can do better, read our blog, retweeted our tweets, and just generally supported us in this 1st year of our journey.”

Even before the birth of Bing, Microsoft introduced background images for the home page of its search engine, which in the first half of 2009 was still called Live Search. The Redmond company revealed that it intended to deliver a novel approach to the search engine start page, and one that was at the opposite pole of Google’s austere design. Bing wallpapers ended up being swapped daily, although the initial plan was to have them change at longer periods of time, and subsequently evolved with Silverlight hotspots, offering users the chance to access additional content related to the imagery.

Earlier this week, Google made a move similar to that of Microsoft, citing the need to offer users more personalization options. Essentially, the Mountain View-based search giant now allows users to customize the home page with a wallpaper of their choice. Coincidentally, or not, Marissa Mayer, VP of Search and User Experience at Google, announced the change just as Bing turned one year old.

“We shipped lots of fun stuff, and saw our competitors do some pretty impressive things, reminding us what a great industry we have the opportunity to work in,” Mehdi added. “We know we have lots more to do, and we are lucky to have supporters out there encouraging us to keep pushing search in new directions. We are already hard at work to bring you more experiences that are smarter about your intent, and deliver real knowledge to help you complete complex tasks and make better decisions. There’s lots of cool computer science and useful feature work to come.”

According to statistics from comScore, Microsoft’s search engine owned a share of 8.2% of all US inquires in April 2009, while Yahoo accounted for 20.4% and Google was credited with 64.2%. A year later, in April 2010, no less than 11.8% of searches made by US users were entered into Bing, 17.7% in Yahoo and 64.4% in Google.

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