Microsoft has unveiled what it hopes will be a Google killer. After months of testing a new search engine under the code name ‘Kuomo’, they have taken the wraps off this new product, christened ‘Bing‘.

Doing the honours at a conference in Carlsbad, California, CEO Steve Ballmer said,

We’ll have what I would call a big budget — big enough that I had to gulp when I approved the budget.

There has been speculation that Microsoft is going to spend close to $80-$100a million on their advertising, though predictably, they’ve declined to comment on this.

They say Bing will be a ‘decision engine’, one that will present results and some intuitive tools aimed at making the decision process easier for the user.

Some initial thoughts:

  • The first thing I noticed was the picture of a snow leopard, which I thought was weird considering Apple has an OS by that name. :)
  • The search results, initially a bit wonky at first, seem to be getting better.
  • Bing does not seem to have plans for going mobile, at least not yet. This is a huge mistake, considering the number of users who use their Blackberry and other smartphones to access the net nowadays.
  • The addition of a new navigation menu to the left, called an ‘Explorer Pane’, which adds links to aid you in your decision making process. Decent enough, but I’d rather not have it at all.
  • Quick Preview – a feature located to the right of the search result that enables one to see a snippet from the actual site. This hangs at times, though.
  • Integration of it’s Farecast Technology (a company it purchased last year) to search for lower airfares and other travel queries.

Too early to tell whether it will actually be a Google killer, and there have been quite a few that have attempted this, albeit unsuccessfully. Let’s see what the coming weeks hold in store for this new product.