Microsoft has long had a branding problem with search. Is it Windows Live Search? MSN Search? Neither lends itself to becoming a verb. Meanwhile, Google has become synonymous with search, “google it”. With Bing, Microsoft it hoping you’ll “bing it”, and you should.

Replace Google with Bing as your default search engine for a week. You can find lots of examples and head-to-head comparisons, but the best way to judge the search engine is to use it yourself. While at the end of the week, you may not be ready to give up Google, you’ll likely find yourself returning to it.

So what’s new with Bing? If you’ve been using Live Search, not a lot. But that’s not a bad thing. Live Search continues to roll out improvements a few times per year, and they’ve quietly evolved into a very relevant, and attractive search engine. Of course, the biggest problem is that no one seems to have noticed. That’s where Bing.com comes in, along with an estimated $100 million dollar marketing campaign.

If you don’t want to change Bing as your default search engine for a week, at least give it a couple of minutes to try these cool features:

  1. Search for “turkey“. Notice how the left column offers suggestions to refine your search, and how the search results are organized by category (images, recipes, facts, map, tourism, weather)
  2. Search for Disney’s new movie, “up“. Find movie times for your area.
  3. Click on the “Videos” link. Notice how videos play by simply hovering over them.
  4. Click on the “Images” link. Scroll down, and down, and down more. Notice the infinite scroll.
  5. Try the Shopping search. Find results sorted by brand or price. As well as user rating, and CashBack offers.
  6. Try the Maps search. It automatically knows which city your in and offers local search results.

I’m using the US version. Your results may vary, as there seem to be different versions of Bing offered in different countries. If you take the Bing challenge and change your default search engine for a week, tell us comments about your experience, and if you’ll continue using Bing.