Windows 8 introduced Smart Search and starting this week, that gets natural language support making it smarter.
As you may have read, we are planning to relocate to Bangalore very soon. One of the first things we have to do is get admission into a good school for both our kids. Since it is highly competitive there, and since the school year has already started, I wanted to get a head start and do some research and maybe even contact some schools to get the conversation started.
To my unpleasant surprise, search results for schools in Bangalore are full of SEO spam. I mean, the results are from a few popular (by visits?) domains but the content is just not there. It is truly pathetic. Content is scraped from one site to the other, so reviews are also copies of each other. Of course, reviews for the same school range from “I am pulling out my kid” to “This school rocks”, so I have learnt to take them with a massive pinch of salt (aka disregard them).
Not only is the content bad, the layout of these sites is also bad. These sites are built for pageviews and so, there are ads galore. I am always looking at how to avoid clicking on ads.
Finally, the schools themselves seem to have bad design taste in building their own website. Considering how much money they make on tuition and other costs, I would think they have to invest in getting their site updated with a more modern look. Most of them still have scrolling lists and Flash and many of them still don’t supply relevant information (like tuition fees!) thereby making the visit to the site futile.
A list of popular Google products and alternatives to each one. Also, a list of Google products which do not have a good replacement today.
For common tasks like looking up movies and weather, Bing is totally better than Google. One of the reasons I have made it my default search engines on all my browsers. The start page is also fantastic, so Bing.com is also my homepage on some (non-work) browsers.
And I did not put the “verticals” here like Bing Shopping, Bing Entertainment, Bing Social, Bing Finance!
Update: I completely forgot to mention Bing Maps! I used them recently on a trip to Santa Barbara both on the iPad and on my iPhone. The directions have a neat feature that said “if you have passed so-and-so street you have gone too far” or something to that effect. Nice touch!
Update 2: Cannot believe how much else there is! I forgot Visual Search! I added a new image below showing what else is there in Bing which makes “searching” so much cooler for non-geeks (although, geeks are not left behind, clearly!)