Web

Bing can now help you move home more easily

bing wants to make it easier for you scope out a new neighborhood zoom in
Bing may be the underdog as far as Web search goes, but Microsoft’s portal is refusing to go away, and the company has a set of new features to announce to tempt more of you into making it your go-to search engine. The new features cover the main information you might want to research about a new neighborhood: Homes, schools, and doctors.

If you’re a U.S. user and you search for a house address on Bing on mobile, the search engine brings up a host of extra information, including property prices and the schools and doctors near the address — information is pulled from third-party sources like Trulia, Zillow, GreatSchools, LexisNexis, Doximity, and others. You can tap through to get extra information and even check out the best restaurants nearby (via OpenTable). There’s no word yet on whether the feature is going to expand internationally.

“Moving to a new city or new neighborhood is as exciting as it is stressful. In addition to grappling with the big decision of finding a new home, other considerations can include school choices, availability of services such as health care, and what a new neighborhood has to offer beyond a place to live,” writes the Bing team.

For schools, you can see contact information, student-to-faculty ratios, enrollment data and other academic indicators. For doctors, Bing now lets you view clinic locations and contact information, plus the average reviews, educational background and years of experience of the doctor concerned. Microsoft says it’s taken steps to confirm thousands of these phone numbers by calling them.

“It brings together information curated from a variety of sources and services, so you can feel confident that you’re getting the big decisions right,” says Microsoft. “The Bing team wants to take some stress and uncertainty out of your move.”

It’s not a huge development in the grand scheme of the search engine wars, but it gets Bing closer to Google in terms of being able to present information right on the results page without having to click through links. If users never need to leave Bing to find whatever they’re looking for, then Microsoft benefits — and its market share might just grow further.

[Image courtesy of GongTo/Shutterstock.com]

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