Microsoft's new search engine Bing is now live, two days ahead of schedule, available for anyone to use. The world has already been taking the latest search engine for a test drive to see the successor to Live Search. So far, the general consensus is that Bing has a lot of interesting and helpful features to help improve your search experience, like help finding airfares on the results page, instant answers to common questions, quick previews of Web content and more reliable health information.
But like any new tech toy, Bing has brought unexpected attention since its release into the wild. In the heat of the moment after discovering something that looks scandalous, some bloggers can get carried away, forgetting about important things like context or those pesky facts that always seem to get in the way of a good story. Here's what's going on and why things are not exactly as they seem.
Bing's X-Rating is No Different from Live Search
One spicy Bing-related topic popping up on the Web today is the Bing Video Search preview feature. Some say it is every adolescent boy's dream come true. Just set your preferences for Bing Video Search to unfiltered search results, and run a search for "porn" or whatever naughty search term you like on Bing. What you'll find are explicit video previews from the deepest, darkest corners of the Web. As you can imagine, this trick has gotten some serious attention, and some bloggers have apparently spent the entire morning running these searches (in the name of news of course).
Bing is Not a Porn Innovator
There's only one problem: Microsoft's video previews were also a part of Live Search and most of the major search engines will let you preview dirty videos right on the results page. For example, if you do a search for "porn" on Google or Yahoo, the layout will be different and the results may not be identical to those on Bing, but you'll still get an eyeful right there on the results page.
When PC World was testing Bing and comparing video search results on Bing and Live Search, we noticed both were virtually the same right down to the preview feature. In fact, the only difference PC World found between the two Microsoft search brands was the page layout and the look and feel. PC World even asked Microsoft about this similarity, and the company confirmed via e-mail the primary difference between Bing and Live Search is the user interface, which the company claims is more intuitive. Microsoft also says it's easier to discover full-length TV shows, music videos, and other video content on Bing compared to Live Search.
So, while Bing might have a more expansive selection of porn and let you get to those naughty results faster than on other search engines, finding porn with a search engine is nothing new -- even with Bing.
Now that others have outed this longstanding ability of search engines to find porn when you search for "porn," I have no doubt many people will be using Bing as their portal of choice to the seedy side of the Internet. Just remember: Bing has an opt-in feature that will log your entire search history, and then display it right on the results page.