In June of 2012 Microsoft added the "Snapshot" feature to its Bing search engine, which enables answers at a glance in the center column of the search results page. Richard Qian, of the Bing team describes the feature as being "designed to develop deep understanding of the world around us not only as a collection of entities (people, places and things) but also the relationships between those entities".
Today Microsoft rolled out some enhancements to this service, which it hopes will make its Google competitor a better option for customers.
The first enhancement is to the People feature of Snapshot. Here Bing has added enhancements to searches done for celebrities, professionals and friends. Users searching for professionals now will find information on things such as where they went to school, where they have worked and also related searches for people.
As for famous people, such as celebrities and athletes, Bing has added social information from Facebook, Twitter and Klout. Also, like other people searches, Bing will now display what other people who searched for the individual also search for. When you hover over the "People also search for" photos, you'll see an explanation of how each is related to that celebrity or athlete.
As for place searches, such as landmarks, parks, cities, mountains and the like, there will be people related data as well. For instance, if you search for Mt. Everest you will get a link for Sir Edmund Hillary, the first to scale the famous peak. This feature will now also answer queries phrase as questions -- like "what is the tallest building in the world?"
Qian concludes that "Together, these updates provide you with a greater level of understanding about the world we all live in, which we hope will make Bing more useful to your everyday life. This is a long journey, and we expect to deliver a number of additional improvements in the weeks and months ahead".
Bing is continuing to improve at rate that seems faster than Google. And, given the recent bad will Google has generated, Bing may be a very worthy replacement for your search needs.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.