Today is the day of two new big service promises, but no deliveries: Microsoft's Bing and Google's Wave. Bing will apparently release next week for people to see, so maybe it's a better promise. Wave is supposed to only release later in the year, so I have to control my skepticism. But, on the other hand, the Wave presentation had so much more information than the Bing presentation that it's easier to be more excited about the former.
What are my personal impressions? Wave looks confusing, but maybe as an engine it might work. I'm concerned about the use of a "fake participant" on a conversation to do integration with external data sources. Sounds like a weird architecture (especially because it seems to work differently from a normal person). Identity is also a little interesting to discuss. But it's too early to tell.
Bing? That one is even harder to gauge. It seems like people that had access to it are excited about it. By only having access to a silly video and some screen shots, I can't see it. If Wave looked confusing, Bing looks even worse. The same interface for a lot of different use cases is generally a bad sign. I'll try to spend some time playing with it next week when it launches and then I'll give a real summary of my impressions.
I'll have to add that lately I have been trying to reduce my reliance on web search and I'm trying to focus on tools that are better for what I'm looking for. For example, if I'm looking for a website, I go to delicious or Twine. If I'm looking for a product, I first look for review sites and then the product. If I'm looking for a person or place, I go to Wikipedia.
But there are a few use cases I still need to fall back to web search. This is mainly important at work. For example, code samples, documentation, error codes, all of them are generally very hard to start with a specialized web site. Another annoying thing is that the integration of web search in my browser is easy. All other integrations are a little clunkier, which makes me sometimes use web search simply due to convenience.
Anyway, I'll continue keeping this goal in mind and see what it teaches me.