Bing Australia drops out of beta, still crippled

You know it’s Australian because it’s got kangaroos. Bing Australia made a quiet announcement today that they’re officially out of beta. In the strictest sense, it means they’ve removed the “beta” tag from the logo and enabled a small set of value-add services to the previously barebones local search engine.

Although I believe many of these features were quietly rolled out to Bing Australia over the past year, the official Australian feature-set includes Social Search, homepage hotspots, Instant Answers, Enhanced Results, local results in Bing Maps, News Search, Bing Weather, Image Search and Video Search.

Whilst those might sound quite comprehensive, it’s only the tip of the Bing iceberg. You only need to go as far as to compare the “Explore” page from Bing US and Bing Australia to realize the gap.

Many of the missing features in Australia (and other non-beta markets like the UK) like shopping search, travel search and map apps is what makes Bing unique and special. It’s such a shame to see Bing not capitalize on their strong points in markets outside of the US.

According to the press release Mumbrella received, Bing Australia will be running a special HTML5 video background tomorrow on November 16th. I guess a pretty video can lessen the disappointment a little bit.

10 insightful thoughts

  1. Why are you suprised? Do you expect anything less (or more) from a Microsoft product in Australia.
    And from the screen shot above, they can’t even give us Weather! Seriously?

    1. Australia has been sinking deeper and deeper into decline ever since 1996, THATS why Microsoft are providing such a crippled Bing service for Australia!!!!

  2. I Once travel abroad , Bing set my Region as “International” , I Bing Something and The Result is Totaly Differ from the US Version , Try Bing “Winrumours” in International and US Version

  3. Bing is almost useless if you don’t setup the US by default. And it loves to change it back for my region (latinamerica) for no reason.

  4. Welcome to Microsoft’s understanding of global deployment!
    This attitude of “US centric” vision already costed them gigantic amounts of consumer market shares in many areas where they could have been successful. Unfortunately, their inertia and lack of consumer market vision seems to be greater than their desire to succeed.

    1. Agree… and they are pointing to the US market wich doesn’t care nothing about MS products (except Xbox).

  5. It’s infuriating and daft: They launched Zune Music, (yay), but because there’s no “Bing” Music, you can’t search the content! (boooo)

    What mind thought that one up?

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