Microsoft Bing sheds beta tag

Microsoft has officially unleashed its new Bing search engine after putting it through its beta paces since June. It seems, though, that some of the b

Microsoft has officially unleashed its new Bing search engine after putting it through its beta paces since June.

It seems, though, that some of the big draws of Bing – like real-time search of Twitter feeds and computational results from Wolfram Alpha – will not be present at launch.

The Visual Search feature, allowing users to search using images and metadata without keywords, will also stay in beta and be limited to pictures of travel destinations.

Bing Maps will stop redirecting users to Multimap, offering users a slew of new features including draggable routes, Tube maps, Congestion charge warnings and walking directions – and, best of all, popups are activated by a click rather than a hover.

And for those undeterred by postal strikes who prefer to do their Christmas shopping online, a linkup with Ciao UK should get the whole thing done much quicker.

It’s got a way to go before hitting Google’s 80% market share – but we all have to start somewhere…