We tested a preview release of Microsoft's new search/decision engine, previously called Kumo
- Explorer Pane can be extremely useful, updated layout and look of video search, Farecast
- We didn't like the Quick Preview feature
Will the masses start binging instead of googling? If Microsoft continues to make progress with its ongoing tweaks and improvements to Bing — and steamrolls the existing landscape with its promised massive advertising campaign — it stands a chance of converting more than an impressionable few.
Bing: Search Results Now Categorised
Bing distributes its search results into various search categories. For example, Bing divided the results of my search for "Saturn Vue" into the categories 'MSN Autos', 'general search results', 'problems', 'images', 'parts', 'repair', and 'specs'.
Our Take: Although a logical breakdown of categories within search results can be convenient, it does lead to a lot of scrolling down.
We're not sure that we want to scroll — and scroll some more — to find what we're looking for. Furthermore, categorised search seems a bit redundant when you have the handy Explorer Pane to help you focus your search results by categories.
Bing: Instant Results
Bing joins Yahoo in declaring war against the "ten blue links" approach to reporting search results — Google's method of displaying lists of websites that might be what you're looking for.
Bing takes a two-pronged approach to fight "blue link" fatigue. First, its Quick Preview feature gives you a text-based synopsis of the pages displayed in your search results. We dragged our mouse cursor over individual search results for "Babe Ruth," and up popped a box of data pulled from the site.
Bing also peppers search results with what Microsoft calls Instant Answers. As the name implies, Instant Answers serve up answers to questions such as currency conversion, weather forecasts, and movie times.
Our Take: We didn't like the Quick Preview feature because we found that it took too long for boxes to pop up with text.
Sometimes, a Hover box would appear without text. In many cases when text did appear, it didn't give a strong enough clue as to whether the site was worth visiting. Given its shortcomings, this Bing feature may be the first to get axed by Microsoft.
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PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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