Bing is the latest moniker to be given to Microsoft's search engine, which had previously been called MSN Search, Windows Live Search and Live Search.
The history of Microsoft's search engine goes back to 1998, the year MSN Search was first launched. In the following few years, MSN Search used results from Inktomi, LookSmart and the once popular AltaVista engines. Windows Live Seach was launched in 2006 and was renamed to Live Search in 2007.
Microsoft had its search engine integrated into its MSN portal, similar to the way Yahoo did. Microsoft's online services such as Hotmail were available from the portal homepage. In 2009, Yahoo and Microsoft had signed a deal where Yahoo search would, over a 10 year transitional period, eventually be powered entirely by Microsoft's search resources.
With Bing, Microsoft had introduced a unique new search engine results page (SERP) format, of providing previews of pages that the results linked to, on the right column of the page. Along with other new features, Bing helped Microsoft gain some of the other major search engines market share, epecially in the US.