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Tuesday March 2, 2010 9:48 pm

Bing launches improved Auto-suggest attached to your personal search history


Posted by Finnian Durkan Categories: Internet, Microsoft


If there is one thing that I hate, it is when technology inconveniences me more than it helps.  We’ve all been there: it’s late, there’s a movie quote or an actor that you can’t get out of your head—you want, nay, NEED to solve this riddle before your body will allow you some restful shut-eye.  What do you do?  You roll over in your bed/futon/inflatable mattress and flip open your ever-present and never shutdown laptop and open a link to your favorite search engine.  As you mindlessly begin to type your parameters, in my case the phrase ‘that hairy guy that dated Carla on Cheers’ (Nick, played by Dan Hedeya incidentally) is my search of choice tonight.  No sooner have you gotten the letters ‘T-H-A..’ into the searchbox then a menu opens up listing more unrelated ‘tha’ phrases than a Wu-Tang song.  After briefly looking at a list of ‘Thai Restaurants’ and ‘Thankless Jobs’ (*ahem*) you quickly close the menu and type out your search terms in their entirety.  Annoying, isn’t it?

Well, Bing has taken that first step to making your oh-so-difficult web-searching easier by integrating your query history into their auto-suggest feature.  Now when you begin to type your search in Bing your previous search queries will be taken into account when serving up auto-suggest keywords.  Not only that, but they will appear in the same color (purple) that your web-browser uses to display already-visited links thus helping to differentiate them from non query-based auto-suggestions.  In my case this means that when I type in ‘T-H-A’ like I previously mentioned about 30 purple-hued links to ‘That so-and-so from such-and-such-movie’ will appear since I am forever referencing pop culture but am blessed with the memory recall of a 2 month-old. At least now I’ll be able to save myself a few keystrokes before Bing directs me to IMDB.  Bing has also allowed this feature to be turned off completely or to be managed with their ‘Manage History’ option if you are paranoid that your boss is going to search your work computer’s internet history and wonder why you keep searching ‘jobs that don’t suck like the one that i have now’.  Either way, it’s progress.


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