Microsoft have launched a new search engine in an attempt to rival Google: Bing. But will it be the next great innovation since Windows, or another Microsoft Bob?

Tech’s top pundits have passed judgement and the verdict is… mixed. It’s better than Microsoft’s previous efforts MSN and Live (but that’s no great achievement), and there is some definite innovation, but most seem skeptical it can knock Google off the poll position.

TechCrunch‘s Michael Arrington likes it, but acknowledges Google is part of everyday life now, and readjusting may not be worth the hassle:

for most people, they’ll stick to what they know, and that’s Google.

They do note, however, that it’s a great way to view porn.

Wired agree: it’s good, but not good enough to dump Google:

With Bing, Microsoft has shown that it understands that different kinds of searches require different kinds of answers and interfaces. They’ve shown too they understand that a search is often only the beginning of a decision such as what Indian restaurant to try or what kind type and model of water filter is best.

Unfortunately, those realizations are too hidden and not well enough developed to make one want to switch over immediately.

PC Mag reckon Bing’s search results are just as good as Google’s, but also don’t like its chances of unseating them in the search game:

Much of the time users are not really looking for a Web page but for an answer. By providing results that answer users’ questions immediately rather than requiring them to navigate to another page and back if the first one didn’t yield the info they were looking for, Bing brings value and efficiency to Web searches. I didn’t run into any cases where Google’s results were more relevant than Bing’s, whether I was looking for a specific site or for general information on a topic.

The UK’s TechRadar have given it a tentative thumbs-up, but are holding out for more UK-specific content:

Bing is good, but it will get a whole lot better. But so will Google, and with forthcoming search innovations such as Google Squared as well as completely integrated services such as Google Maps and Calendar, Bing has its work cut-out.

Mashable are less impressed — claiming it’s just the old with a coat of paint:

The core of the search engine, from what I can see, is still, but the search results for some queries are indeed organized topically; for example, for “Star Trek” the results will be divided into general results, Star Trek cast, Star Trek Wallpapers, Theme Song, DVD, Episodes, and so forth. It doesn’t always work; for “Wolverine,” I just get the standard list of results; oddly enough, they’re worse on the US version (if you’re looking for the movie, of course) than on the UK version, which brings more results relevant to Wolverine the movie. For the same query (“Wolverine”), Google blows both out of the water.

On the other end of the spectrum, CNET reckon Microsoft have got a product that can successfully compete with — and out-do — Google and snare itself a share of the search market:

The new game in search is parsing information and displaying it in the engine itself (see Wolfram Alpha for the extreme example of this). Both Google and Bing, and other search products, have areas where they will collate and format information for you, instead of just linking you to external pages where the data reside. Bing does an extremely good job at this in several popular areas — like product reviews, movie listings, weather, travel, and stock prices.

Google keeps improving in the area of in-search collation and display as well, but Bing makes Google look complacent, and that’s not good for Google. For the moment, Bing’s on top in this game. Try this search engine. I do not think you will regret it.

For an Aussie perspective, Mumbrella‘s Tim Burrows takes it for a short spin, and, well, the results speak for themselves:

Can you guess what web site it doesn’t list? A little clue: It begins with Mumbrella and ends in

And finally, graphic designer Graham Smith doesn’t care whether it works or not, but declares Bing’s logo “epicly crap“:

There is nothing about it that makes sense. Every thing that could be done wrong pretty much has been. The whole personal taste, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, its subjective doesn’t cut it here.

This logo is supremely and stupendously grim.

What’s your take? Can you see yourself being a Binger instead of a Googler?