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Bing Central: Bing’s New Self-Promotional User Hub
Bing has just launched a new service called Bing Central that ostensibly exists to serve as a hub for Bing users, but unfortunately has too much self-promotion and too little utility in this first version.
Although Bing Central offers links and access to several Bing account- and search-related tools, as you can see above, the homepage is nothing more than a big call-to-action that’s trying to get me to sign up for Bing Rewards. The next two tabs at the top of the page — Discover and Redeem — are also tied heavily into Bing Rewards. The Discover tab has several “missions” that invite me to use various Bing search tools (movies search, Bing Maps/local search, etc.) and earn Bing Rewards points along the way.
The Bing promotion finally ends when you reach the Account tab, which is where there are links to manage several search-related settings and preferences, from content filtering to how many results appear on Bing search results and more.
Bing users can also view and manage their search history from this tab, along with settings related to Bing Maps and travel search. The “News” link in the lower right is for managing Bing news alerts, but clicking it only leads to the Bing News home page, where another click is needed to create news alerts. There doesn’t seem to be any way to manage existing Bing news alerts, which is where that link should probably go when it’s clicked.
All in all, this is a good idea and something Bing should be offering its users. But with so much self-promotion, the initial execution leaves a lot to be desired.