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Six Cool Reasons to Search with Bing

Have you Binged anything lately? Microsoft's Bing is getting a lot of attention, and as Rick pointed out last week, it has a number of admittedly cool features. This week, I've rounded up some neat search tricks you can try with Bing.

Save a search for later. You know how you can save a carefully crafted search in Windows Vista and run it again later with just one click? Well, Bing lets you do the same thing. To do that, click See all in the Search History pane on the left side of the screen. There, you can choose the search(es) you want to save, and e-mail them or post them to a location like SkyDrive for later access.

Web slice your search. Certain searches can be turned into Internet Explorer 8 "Web Slices." A Web Slice is a piece of a Web page that, when added to your Favorites bar, expands to show you a tactical piece of information so you don't have to open the entire page. Bing is Web Slice savvy -- search for a stock price or the weather, and you can slice-ify the result.

Video previews play in place. When you search for video, the thumbnails play, with sound, when you hover over them. No need to click through to see if you found the right vid.

Find pages that contain specific types of files. Looking for a detailed product information PDF about a digital camera? Know that an MP3 version of a conference exists, but don't know how to go about looking for it? Try Bing's contains attribute. Enter this in Bing:

d300 contains:pdf

Your search for the Nikon D300 will narrow just to pages that contain the file type you specify, in this case, pdfs. You can search for any kind of file though, such as PDF, MP3, JPG, DOC... you name it.

Get 411 directory assistance. Bing has its own version of GOOG-411. Dial 800-BING-411 (800-246-4411) and you can get directory assistance, traffic conditions, driving directions, weather reports, and movie listings. BING-411 will read you what you need to know over the phone (including detailed turn-by-turn driving directions) or text the info to you.

Search Right From Your Desktop. If you use Windows 7, you can easily add a search connector to the navigation pane in all your folders, so you can use the ubiquitous search box to get Bing results without opening a Web browser. I got my Bing search connector from Chak's Corner, but it's actually available from a slew of places on the Web. To learn more about search connectors, be sure to check out our roundup of other connectors (which includes a simple template for making your own.)

Hey, while you're exploring searh engines, be sure to read about how Wolfram Alpha could be the future of online research and a slew of specialized search engines for those times when Google (or Bing) don't quite do it.

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