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Hunch answers your questions with questions... and accurate answers
Microsoft may be branding Bing as a "decision engine" rather than a search engine. But as far as web-based decision engines go, Bing's got nothing on Hunch, a new web tool which emerged from private beta this morning.

Hunch basically lets you ask any question and get a pretty decent answer... after answering a bunch of other questions. For example, if you ask "what netbook should I buy," Hunch will ask you what your priorities are for screen size, battery life, and other features and then offer a few suggestions. You can agree or disagree with the results or read user opinions as well. Users can also create profiles, which help the service learn more about you and offer better results.

Hunch can handle a number of different question types, ranging from "Should I visit Ireland? " to "Is Joaquin Phoenix serious?" Some of the questions you're asked are clearly meant to be funny, but that doesn't mean they won't help you make a good decision. And since Hunch is continually gathering feedback from community members, the questions and answers are likely to continue getting better as time goes on.

While Hunch can't answer some basic questions that Google, Bing, or Yahoo! can handle with ease (what's the weather forecast in my zip code, who won the Oscar for best picture this year, and so on), that's not what Hunch is designed to do. It's designed to help you make decisions, and in a lot of cases, that's exactly what it will help you do. I don't imagine hunch is the kind of service you'll need to use every day. But it could certainly come in handy next time you're trying to decide which cellphone plane you should sign up for, or which movie you should check out for date night.

Tags: decision-engine, decision-making, hunch