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Bing's Best Features are the Ones You Didn't Know Existed on Live Search

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If you weren't using Live Search (and let's face it, most of you weren't) then you're likely to be a little more impressed than you should be with Bing. Sure, Bing has great new features, but Live Search featured a bunch of cool stuff and you'll be kicking yourself when you realize you haven't been using them.

Image Search infinite scrolling means you never have to click to another page when you're searching for photos and graphics. The more you scroll, the more Live Search and now Bing keeps loading images related to your search.

A myriad of filtering options also accompanies Image Search, including size, color, layout and style.

Video search preview lets users mouse over video results and get a 30-second preview directly in the results.

ClearFlow is a mapping feature that offers up alternative routes when there's heavy traffic.

Local search is very comprehensive. If you conduct a general search for say, coffee shop, as you scroll down the results page, the map on the right sidebar scrolls with you. Once you click on a result, you get one-click directions, reviews, and nearby business categories. If you search for a restaurant, you'll see a visual scorecard letting which summarizes reviews the eatery has received.

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Instant answers is a feature we've covered a lot on this blog, and Microsoft does it very well. Sports scores, shopping and travel are all categories getting the instant answer treatment. Want a quick status on flight? Type the airline and flight number into the search box and you'll get immediate details on where the flight is directly in the results.

Speaking of travel, Farecast, which Microsoft acquired last year, rocks. It's rebranded as Bing Travel. These days, there aren't too many variations in price on travel search. But Farecast's strength is displaying deals and predicting whether airfares will rise or fall. You can set up email alerts to know what hot deals are out there.

Last fall, Microsoft incorporated Farecast flight search with Instant Answers in Live Search. You'll get the same experience with Bing.

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Microsoft has had a lot to offer in terms of search and it's not just starting now with Bing. Dive in and see what you find. Then come back and share your favorite features in the comments below.


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