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June 3, 2009

PRINT:  WORD | PDF (13-page handouts)
LISTEN: MP3 (2:06 - 984KB)
PLAY:    ONLINE QUIZ

Microsoft Launches Bing Decision Engine

Microsoft launched its new search engine, called Bing, on June the first. This is two days earlier than planned. The software giant said Bing will totally change the way we search online. They say Bing isn’t actually a search engine, like Google, but it is a decision engine. Microsoft says the difference is that Bing will help people make decisions because Bing organizes information better than Google. A company spokesperson said there is “search overload” with current search engines like Google. This means we get too much information and cannot find what we are looking for. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Bing will help people "find information quickly and use the information they've found to accomplish tasks."


So far, there are mixed reviews about Bing. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak says he is a “big fan”. David Coursey of PC World magazine wasn’t so enthusiastic. He said: “To be the winning search engine, you need to either do all things really well, which Bing does not, or do one or two things really well….I don’t think Bing does that either.” Microsoft hopes its $100 million, four-month advertising campaign will turn us all into Bing users and that we will all be “binging”. Perhaps Microsoft’s ultimate goal is for ‘bing’ to become a verb in English, just like ‘google’ has become. Microsoft desperately wants to catch up with Google in the search engine war. Microsoft’s Live Search only has eight per cent of the US market, compared with Google’s 65 per cent.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. SEARCH: Walk around the class and talk to other students about searching online. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

search engines / software / giants / decisions / information / accomplishing tasks / reviews / being a big fan / doing things really well / ultimate goals / catching up

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. SEARCH ENGINES: How can we make search engines better? Complete this table with your partner(s). Talk about what you wrote to your partner. Change partners and share what you heard.

 

Search engines today

Future search engines

Speed

 

 

Quality of results

 

 

Colour

 

 

Type of information

 

 

Money

 

 

Sharing / networking

 

 

4. BING: Students A strongly believe Microsoft Bing can rival Google; Students B strongly believe Google will always be the best search engine around.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. SEARCH TERMS: What search terms are important for you? Rate these and share your ratings with your partner: 10 = highly important; 1 = not at all important. Change partners and share your ratings again.

_____  music

_____  money

_____  fashion

_____  sports

_____  English

_____  games

_____  movies

_____  world news

6. DECISION: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘decision’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Microsoft launched a new product a few days earlier than scheduled.

T / F

b.

Microsoft says the new product will bring people more useful search results.

T / F

c.

Microsoft said Bing will organize search information better than Google.

T / F

d.

Microsoft’s boss said search engines do not give enough information.

T / F

e.

The co-founder of Apple likes the new Bing decision engine.

T / F

f.

A writer from PC World magazine said Bing does everything really well.

T / F

g.

Google is the name of a company and a verb in English.

T / F

h.

Microsoft started Bing to get a bigger slice of the search engine market.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

launched

a.

reports

2

planned

b.

present

3.

spokesperson

c.

battle

4.

current

d.

scheduled

5.

accomplish

e.

keen

6.

reviews

f.

greatest

7.

enthusiastic

g.

started

8.

ultimate

h.

very much

9.

desperately

i.

representative

10.

war

j.

achieve

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one. combination is possible):

1.

This is two days

a.

to become a verb

2

totally change the way

b.

better than Google

3.

Bing will help people make

c.

we search online

4.

Bing organizes information

d.

reviews about Bing

5.

Bing will help people find

e.

of the US market

6.

there are mixed

f.

earlier than planned

7.

turn us all

g.

up with Google

8.

Microsoft’s ultimate goal is for ‘bing’

h.

information quickly

9.

Microsoft desperately wants to catch

i.

decisions

10.

Live Search only has eight per cent

j.

into Bing users

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Microsoft ____________ its new search engine, called Bing, on June the first. This is two days earlier than ____________. The software ____________ said Bing will totally change the way we search online. They say Bing isn’t actually a search engine, like Google, but it is a decision engine. Microsoft says the ____________ is that Bing will help people make ____________ because Bing organizes information better than Google. A company spokesperson said there is “search ____________” with current search engines like Google. This means we get too much information and cannot find what we are ____________ for. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Bing will help people "find information quickly and use the information they've found to accomplish ____________."

 

 

 

decisions
tasks
planned
overload
difference
launched
looking
giant

So far, there are ____________ reviews about Bing. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak says he is a “big ____________”. David Coursey of  PC World magazine wasn’t so ____________. He said: “To be the winning search engine, you need to either do all things really well, which Bing does not, or do one or two things really well….I don’t think Bing does that ____________.” Microsoft hopes its $100 million, four-month advertising campaign will ____________ us all into Bing users and that we will all be “binging”. Perhaps Microsoft’s ____________ goal is for ‘bing’ to become a verb in English, just like ‘google’ has become. Microsoft desperately wants to ____________ up with Google in the search engine war. Microsoft’s Live Search only has eight per cent of the US market, ____________ with Google’s 65 per cent.

 

 

either
catch
fan
compared
enthusiastic
mixed
ultimate
turn

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the gaps.

Microsoft ___________________ search engine, called Bing, on June the first. This is two days earlier than planned. The software giant said Bing will ___________________ way we search online. They say Bing isn’t actually a search engine, like Google, but it is a decision engine. Microsoft says the difference is that Bing will help people ___________________ Bing organizes information better than Google. A company spokesperson said there is “search ___________________ search engines like Google. This means ___________________ information and cannot find what we are looking for. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Bing will help people "find information quickly and use the information they've found ___________________."

So far, there ___________________ about Bing. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak says he is a “big fan”. David Coursey of  PC World magazine wasn’t so enthusiastic. He said: “___________________ search engine, you need to ___________________ really well, which Bing does not, or do one or two things really well….I don’t think Bing does that either.” Microsoft hopes its $100 million, four-month advertising campaign ___________________ Bing users and that we will all be “binging”. Perhaps Microsoft’s ultimate goal is for ‘bing’ to become a verb in English, just like ‘___________________. Microsoft desperately wants ___________________ Google in the search engine war. Microsoft’s Live Search only has eight per cent of the US market, compared with Google’s 65 per cent.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘decision’ and ‘engine’.

decision

engine

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • earlier
  • totally
  • organizes
  • overload
  • means
  • tasks
  • mixed
  • enthusiastic
  • campaign
  • ultimate
  • desperately
  • war

STUDENT SEARCH ENGINE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about search engines in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

SEARCH ENGINE DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘search engine’?

c)

What do you think of the new term ‘decision engine’?

d)

Do you think Bing can be better than Google?

e)

What do you think of Microsoft and its products?

f)

What would you do if there were no search engines?

g)

Are you more loyal to Google or Microsoft?

h)

How do you think Microsoft can change the way we search online?

i)

What are your online searching habits?

j)

Do you ever feel there is “search overload” when you surf the Internet?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

How often do you not find what you’re looking for online?

c)

Are you surprised Apple’s co-founder likes Bing?

d)

What do you think of the term “Bing” for the new Microsoft search engine?

e)

What improvements would you like to see with search engines?

f)

Do you think ‘bing’ will become a verb like ‘google’? Do you think you’ll bing and be binging?

g)

Why do you think Microsoft is so far behind Google?

h)

How excited are you about the launch of Bing?

i)

What are the things you search for most and why?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer?

LANGUAGE

Microsoft launched its (1) ____ search engine, called Bing, on June the first. This is two days earlier than planned. The software giant said Bing will (2) ____ change the way we search online. They say Bing isn’t (3) ____ a search engine, like Google, but it is a decision engine. Microsoft says the difference is that Bing will help people (4) ____ decisions because Bing organizes information better than Google. A company spokesperson said there is “search overload” with current search engines (5) ____ Google. This means we get too much information and cannot find what we are looking for. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Bing will help people "find information quickly and use the information they've (6) ____ to accomplish tasks."

So far, there are (7) ____ reviews about Bing. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak says he is a “big fan”. David Coursey of  PC World magazine wasn’t so enthusiastic. He said: “To be the winning search engine, you need to (8) ____ do all things really well, which Bing does not, or do one or two things really well….I don’t think Bing does that either.” Microsoft hopes its $100 million, four-month advertising campaign will turn (9) ____ all into Bing users and that we will all be “binging”. Perhaps Microsoft’s ultimate goal is (10) ____ ‘bing’ to become a verb in English, just like ‘google’ has become. Microsoft desperately wants to catch (11) ____ with Google in the search engine war. Microsoft’s Live Search only has eight per cent of the US market, (12) ____ with Google’s 65 per cent.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

newly

(b)

newish

(c)

knew

(d)

new

2.

(a)

totally

(b)

totalled

(c)

totals

(d)

total

3.

(a)

actual

(b)

actually

(c)

act

(d)

acting

4.

(a)

have

(b)

do

(c)

make

(d)

be

5.

(a)

likeness

(b)

similar

(c)

like

(d)

similarity

6.

(a)

finding

(b)

found

(c)

find

(d)

finder

7.

(a)

mixes

(b)

mixing

(c)

mixture

(d)

mixed

8.

(a)

either

(b)

nor

(c)

or

(d)

neither

9.

(a)

we

(b)

us

(c)

they

(d)

them

10.

(a)

from

(b)

by

(c)

with

(d)

for

11.

(a)

on

(b)

out

(c)

up

(d)

over

12.

(a)

compared

(b)

compares

(c)

comparison

(d)

comparative

WRITING: 

Write about search engines for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about search engines and decision engines. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MICROSOFT: Make a marketing poster about Microsoft. Include several of its products and compare these with rival products. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. MICROSOFT Vs. GOOGLE: Write a magazine article about Microsoft and Google. Which company is best? Include imaginary interviews with the CEOs of both companies.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Ask him three questions about Microsoft Bing. Give them him three suggestions on how to make a really great search engine. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

T

c.

T

d.

F

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

launched

a.

started

2

planned

b.

scheduled

3.

spokesperson

c.

representative

4.

current

d.

present

5.

accomplish

e.

achieve

6.

reviews

f.

reports

7.

enthusiastic

g.

keen

8.

ultimate

h.

greatest

9.

desperately

i.

very much

10.

war

j.

battle

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

This is two days

a.

earlier than planned

2

totally change the way

b.

we search online

3.

Bing will help people make

c.

decisions

4.

Bing organizes information

d.

better than Google

5.

Bing will help people find

e.

information quickly

6.

there are mixed

f.

reviews about Bing

7.

turn us all

g.

into Bing users

8.

Microsoft’s ultimate goal is for ‘bing’

h.

to become a verb

9.

Microsoft desperately wants to catch

i.

up with Google

10.

Live Search only has eight per cent

j.

of the US market

GAP FILL:

Microsoft launches Bing decision engine

Microsoft launched its new search engine, called Bing, on June the first. This is two days earlier than planned. The software giant said Bing will totally change the way we search online. They say Bing isn’t actually a search engine, like Google, but it is a decision engine. Microsoft says the difference is that Bing will help people make decisions because Bing organizes information better than Google. A company spokesperson said there is “search overload” with current search engines like Google. This means we get too much information and cannot find what we are looking for. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Bing will help people "find information quickly and use the information they've found to accomplish tasks."

So far, there are mixed reviews about Bing. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak says he is a “big fan”. David Coursey of  PC World magazine wasn’t so enthusiastic. He said: “To be the winning search engine, you need to either do all things really well, which Bing does not, or do one or two things really well….I don’t think Bing does that either.” Microsoft hopes its $100 million, four-month advertising campaign will turn us all into Bing users and that we will all be “binging”. Perhaps Microsoft’s ultimate goal is for ‘bing’ to become a verb in English, just like ‘google’ has become. Microsoft desperately wants to catch up with Google in the search engine war. Microsoft’s Live Search only has eight per cent of the US market, compared with Google’s 65 per cent.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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