Bing has finally shed its Beta tag in the UK – with Microsoft's UK Search Lead Paul Stoddart suggesting that the Google rival is the Apple of the search market.
Britain is now the first market outside of the US to get the full localised search engine, with the service tweaked for UK users.
Microsoft had held off publicising Bing in Britain before it was ready for the mass market – and although the beta version has been live for months, the big push to steal back market share from dominant Google will now start in earnest.
With a marketing campaign urging people to 'Bing to decide' starting on Monday, Stoddart told TechRadar that Bing was a different option to the industry's 800-pound gorilla.
The Apple of search
"Google is a behaviour, a habit," asserted Stoddart. "They've provided the best-of-breed service for a very long time, however, things have moved on a bit and that's not to say that people can't come in and do things differently and in some cases better.
"What you could argue at the moment based on what people are telling us is that Bing is almost the Apple of the search world – it's actually kind of cool.
"It is a little bit different, it is cool, it does get you great results."
Where does Bing differ?
"How do you break someone away from Google? You have to provide them with something that stands on its own two feet and it really does," added Stoddart.
"People are saying that they want something different. One in four queries [in all search engines] still goes unanswered, so there is still a lot of work to be done.
"Search has evolved; search isn't just about putting something in and getting through to a website – it's about people saying 'I want to interact with this experience' and that is where Bing is different."
Goal: At least 10 per cent of UK market
Bing had an immediate impact in the US after launch, but the UK market is even more skewed towards Google's search – but that hasn't affected optimism.
"Our first goal is to get to number two [in the UK search market] from a three per cent share, but Ashley Highfield has said his week that he would like to see Bing get to double figures," adds Stoddart.
Bing is now live and out of beta and the local version is available at http://www.bing.com if you are in the UK.