Microsoft's new search engine Bing (bing.com) works a lot like Google and other search engines, but there are some key differences. Here are five of the key features that set it apart.

1. When you search for a broad topic such as "digital cameras," you will see a list of helpful subcategories on the left side of the screen that you can click on, such as "shopping," "brands" and "types."

2. When looking at search results, hover your mouse over the line with the tiny orange dot on the right side of each result to see text on that Web page without having to visit it.

3. To see a live map of traffic in your area, enter "traffic" into Bing's search box. Bing will use your computer's IP address to display a live traffic map in the search results. If you'd like traffic for a different area, click "change location."

4. If you are planning a trip and wondering when the best time to travel is, type something like "Orlando to Philadelphia flights" into the Bing search box. Bing will calculate if airfare is predicted to rise and display an airfare price.

5. When you are using Bing to find a particular Web site, such as when you type in "Best Buy" or "Orlando Sentinel," Bing will label the first result as the "Best match" to distinguish the site you are looking for from the other search results.

(Etan Horowitz is the technology columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. He can be reached at ehorowitz@orlandosentinel.com.)

(c) 2009, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).

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