Microsoft Bing Video Search – A Quick Overview

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bing-logoMicrosoft has launched their new Google competitor, bing, complete with video search and everything.

The thing is, I don’t know what all the hype is about. People are talking about it like it’s going to be some actual competition to Google and from what I can see it’s nothing special.

Some blogs are touting the awesomeness of the live video previews on mouseover. Sure that’s sort of cool (doesn’t work in Firefox which is no big surprise is it?). Blinkx gives you some small preview of all the videos in the results albeit without sound so that’s not so groundbreaking.

The bing video search gives you some options to filter down your results by length, screen size, resolution and source. Source is most interesting to me as it gives you the list of sources it’s apparently pulling from:

  • MSN
  • AOL
  • MTV
  • Hulu
  • ESPN
  • YouTube
  • MySpace (?!)
  • DailyMotion
  • MetaCafe

Not a complete who’s who of video platforms and sharing sites but not the smallest cross-section I’ve seen in a video search either.

So I did one of my standard searches “Wolverine” and received a whopping 157,000 results from bing as compared to 80,000 from Blinkx and a lowly 17,200 results in Google Video. So perhaps they’re doing something right.

Or are they? After some further digging I realized that some of the videos in the search results were actually showing up multiple times, for example the Wolverine profile from the latest incarnation of X-men animated series. In fact some results even showed up multiple times on the same page of search results so it seems that they have some further filtering to do. This might be chalked up to the same video being on multiple sites but don’t they have a way of checking that and combining the results?

Another strange thing is that bing, from Microsoft, is using Flash from Adobe and not Silverlight from Microsoft. Now if you think about that, it’s not all that strange. They want the widest possible adoption of the service most likely and Silverlight isn’t the predominant video player on the web so they had to go with the strongest player in the market. After all, how many of you would choose to install a video player plugin over just going someplace that already let you search based on a plugin you probably already had installed?

In regards to the advanced search capabilities, Google still gives more options and that means easier searching overall in my book. I can drill down to exactly what I’m looking for far more clearly. Plus Google offers some serious keyword search filtering and with the coming of HTML 5 and the Video tag I think that’s going to put them in the forefront though the others will have plenty of time to bolster their keyword search options before it becomes widely accepted. Microsoft knows that it won’t become the world leader in search overnight but they’re hoping that it will gain some widespread use.

Of course what is bing at its most basic? It’s LIVE search right? It’s LIVE search with a new coat of paint, some additional options and a new name. And doesn’t it look a lot like Google from the top left corner of the browser? Almost the same list of options even.

Sure it’s another place that will catalog and index all of our video content and some people will always prefer Microsoft over the others so it will probably find its niche in the market.


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