How Microsoft Bing Works

Microsoft Bing home page
Microsoft Bing home page
Courtesy Microsoft

The popularity of the personal computer as a business tool has a lot to do with a company founded by two men, Paul Allen and Bill Gates. In 1975 the duo wrote a version of BASIC for one of the very first personal computers, the Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) Altair [source: Microsoft]. It wouldn't be long before their success would lead them to found their own software company called Micro-Soft.

Now, after more than 30 years, one corporate name change and several operating systems later, Microsoft is on top of the computer world. In the meantime, Gates and Allen have become billionaires, with Gates reigning as the richest man in the world. Even an $18 billion loss in 2008 didn't knock him off the top [source: Forbes].

And of course Microsoft creates more than just operating systems. It's also responsible for the immensely popular Office suite of productivity software, the Xbox video game console, the Zune portable music player and more. But despite its size and stature, Microsoft doesn't dominate every market in which it participates. For years it has struggled to compete in the Internet search engine market. It's got stiff competition -- with more than 60 percent of the market share, Google is the undisputed king of search engines. In order to compete with Google more actively, Microsoft decided to replace its Live Search product with a new search offering called Bing.

This article will give you a close look at some of the features found in Bing. Later, you'll will see how the two sites stack up in a side-by-side comparison. But first, you should know that Microsoft doesn't refer to Bing as a search engine at all. To see how Microsoft has decided to refer to its new product and why, take a look at the next page.