Update (23 September 2010): Bing now allows Indians to search for sex. But only text no photos or videos.

Microsoft silently made available to the public its new (actually Live Search on energy boosters) search engine Bing.com – they prefer to call it a “decision engine”. And the online world was abuzz with buzz about the new product. So was I.

To test the product (well, that wasn’t my only purpose) I tried to see what it served me when in asked for the most popular keyword on the World Wide Web – sex. And Microsoft, rahther its new surgically enhanced baby – Bing.com poured a bucket of cold water on my carnal desires.

The search led me to this page:

Bing India sex search
To get results, change your search terms.

I tried other ‘sexually explicit’ keywords. Same result. Then I looked for an option to turn off the safe search (as in Google or Live Search), but nothing existed. Then I logged in with my Windows Live ID, to see if it recognises me and displays some benevolence. No avail.

Not the one to give up I changed my country location and tried masquerading as a lascivious surfer from the US of A. And like magic, the discriminatory service revealed all, in partial glory (it was safe search moderate by default). And I could also change the safe search settings.

Bing sex search USA

That can mean one thing (or I would like to look at it that way), that Microsoft Inc. does not want us Indians to search for sex or porn or xxx or nudes or anything of that genre – the sexually explicit kind.

But it doesn’t discriminate when you look for kama (essentially sex in Sanskrit) but censors the Kamasutra while it is kindly towards Kokshastra.

The countries that Microsoft thinks (I assume) are more conservative and should be kept away from anything sexual include:

  1. Arabian countries
  2. China
  3. Germany (I wonder why?)
  4. Hong Kong
  5. India
  6. Indonesia
  7. Korea (obviously South Korea)
  8. Malaysia
  9. Singapore
  10. Taiwan
  11. Thailand
  12. Turkey

I had earlier expressed my displeasure on Twitter over Microsoft playing the nanny for us Indians:

@bing sex filter is on for Indians, but if I change my country to USA, I can search for sex. I protest the discrimination. Indians need sex!

Retweet, if you support the cause. This is a clear and blatant violation to the (unwritten) right to online sex.

Just in case you wanted to know more (useless) stuff about Bing. Here are a few that I discovered:

1. Deprived of sex, Indians spent their time looking for Katrina Kaif (who else?)

2. If there are pre-roll ads before the videos, Bing treats the ads as snippets and plays them (maybe publishers hungry for search referrals might need to rethink their video ad placements). Advertisers would obviously be happy.

3. The earlier avatars of the domain bing.com.

4. This is what the first (that I could find) logo of Bing.com looked like. Not much of an evolution, I say.

Bing old logo

5. Bing.com was also for a while related to “a B2B CRM pen-computing AI P2P groupware product with great SMB ROI” project.

6. Bing doesn’t (when I cheched a while ago) find a place in Google’s Hot Trends. Maybe people are searching about Bing via Bing.

Anyway, I don’t see myself binging in the near future, for now am content with googling. Also Google has no qualms about Indians looking for sex.