How good is the Bing search engine?

Posted By on June 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Having recently finished reading Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway, I decided to look up more info on the Japanese carriers lost during the battle.

I went to Bing and typed in “Akagi,” and sure enough I got the links I expected to see — Wikipedia, the US Navy’s History and Heritage Command page, and so on. Good info, but not unusual to get those links in a search.

I then went back to Bing to look for the next Japanese carrier. I began typing — and as I typed the second letter of the name, Bing’s auto-complete suggested “Kaga” as the first match.

Hmmm. Pretty good.

I next went to look up the Soryu. I typed “S” and Bing suggested “Soryu” as the right answer.

Same thing when I looked up the Hiryu.

Just to make clear what’s going on here: Bing remembered (presumably via cookie, and by remembering what other people had searched for in the past) what I had previously searched for, and made auto-complete suggestions in context of the previous searches. That is, it knows that Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu are related.

I tried it again, looking for the name of the Japanese admiral Nagumo… but I guess its associations go only so far.

Nevertheless: color me impressed.

By way of comparison, I tried the same thing with Google — the results I got were nowhere near as good.

By the way: for any seriously hardcore history buff, Shattered Sword is an amazingly good read; the authors examine the battle on the basis of how Japanese aircraft carrier operations were conducted. It shatters a number of myths about the Battle of Midway, and casts other events in a new light.

Most highly recommended.


2 Responses to “How good is the Bing search engine?”

  1. mostly cajun says:

    Dammit! Just what I need: ANOTHER book!

    It’s on the Kindle right now and I’m a third of the way through it. good recommendation!


    • Russ says:

      It really is an excellent book – heavy seriously deep reading, but nevertheless accessible for anyone interested in the subject matter.

      I was particularly impressed by the analysis of Japanese flight deck operations and how their doctrine basically doomed them.