Tip o’ the Week #48: Stop! Think! Bing!


As well as serving us up a daily delight by way of its home page image, Bing continues to add and innovate other interesting and useful ways to help us find information. There are many examples of where a 10-second Bing search could save time or provide a little more information that could alter the way we do something.

imagePut in the flight number, for example, and you’ll get real time tracking or departure/arrival information. Enter a post code and you’ll get a map.

Search for a product name and maybe you’ll get price estimates, links to reviews, even specifications lists.
Put in currency (like £ and $) and you’ll get current exchange rates, all without needing to go into another site.

clip_image003Visual Search
If you haven’t seen or used Bing Visual Search before, give it a go – it really is very good when you’re doing comparison searching – eg top Windows Phone 7 applications. Using Bing to search and filter for Windows Phone 7 apps is (surprisingly) miles better, quicker and more controllable than using either the desktop Zune software or the App Marketplace on the phone itself.

Bing before you email
A good bit of advice would be to quickly search before sending an email asking a question (it might take you much longer to write the email than it would to type in a search) and you’d get to enquire of the mass knowledge & ignorance on the internet. An example from the other day was an email warning of a scam – a parcel company was supposedly dropping a “sorry we missed you” card through the door, but the number you’d call back to get more information was a premium rate one. A quick search on Bing revealed that this was an urban myth based on some real events that happened 5 years ago. And still, the email is doing the rounds

clip_image005Search History
Did you know that Bing keeps a record of your search history? Look to the left after you’ve done a search for anything and it will show you recent searches you’ve done. You can go further back in time (28 days) by looking on the Search History page (accessible via “More” from the top left of the page), and you can remove individual entries if you find yourself searching off piste. Apparently. The truly paranoid can switch the whole thing off and clear their history.

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