REDMOND, Wash. — Still being hammered for its easy-to-view porn option through live search video, Microsoft is clarifying protective measures for parents or guardians of children on its new Bing search engine.
"There are several preventive features incorporated into Bing to help block this type of material," the company told Information Week, reiterating recent statements.
Bing includes a SafeSearch filter and the company said if it's set to strict, then explicit images or video will not appear in any results. Also, the company notes that SafeSearch is set to strict by default.
"This is a bit more of a conservative approach than others in the industry," said Bing General Manager Mike Nichols in a company blog post. "If you set SafeSearch to strict, you will not see any explicit text, image or video content. If you turn SafeSearch off, which requires you to change the setting and then click again to acknowledge that you are over 18, then explicit content may appear."
Microsoft also has added a Bing tool by which network managers at companies can put the SafeSearch mode into force to prevent porn searches/viewing in the office. Any users can also apply the setting, by adding "&adlt=strict" to the end of a query.
"No matter what the settings are for that session, it will return results as if SafeSearch was set to strict," said Nichols.
The Bing GM added that Microsoft may introduce other tools for blocking explicit content. Such a move is twofold, industry analysts have suggested. By stepping up blocking options, Microsoft addresses the possibility of copyright issues for showing clips of adult content in searches, though legal experts have told AVN.com, the clips -- 30 seconds or so -- may be too short for that issue to surface. Also, it's a solid public relations move as the porn-viewing abilities of the search engine has drawn the wrath of conservative groups and even some politicos.
Meanwhile, The Register reports Microsoft continues to chase No. 1 Google and No. 2 Yahoo! with Bing.
According to ComScore, Microsoft's share of the U.S. search market has risen from 8 to as much as 11 percent since the launch of Bing. Still, Google commands more than a 60 percent share, with Yahoo! hovering around 20-plus percent. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt told Fox Business Network Tuesday that Bing hasn't impacted Google domination at all.
"It's not the first entry for Microsoft. They do this about once a year," said Schmidt. "I don't think Bing's arrival has changed what we're doing. We are about search; we're about making things enormously successful, by virtue of innovation."
Schmidt also championed his company's position as the top search engine.
"Google is about getting all the information and organizing it. Yahoo! has a different strategy. We think ultimately Bing will evolve to a different strategy as well," he said.