Confirmed: Amazon’s New Kindle Fire Tablets To Use Bing As Default Search Engine

bing logo Ubergizmo is reporting that Bing (not Google) will be the default search engine for the Amazon browser on the new Kindle tablets.  (We were able to confirm this with Microsoft directly earlier this evening.) The original Kindle Fire used Google. Amazon is likely to sell several million of these new devices given their aggressive pricing (partly subsidized by ads). If so, that could provide a boost to Bing, especially in a mobile/quasi-mobile context. There are several alternative browsers currently available for Kindle Fire/HD including Opera, Maxthon and Dolphin. I would anticipate tha [...]

Bing Completes “Global Ortho” High Resolution Imagery Project For Continental US

Screen Shot 2012-08-30 at 9.13.51 AM Back when Bing Maps was called Microsoft Virtual Earth (2006) the company bought Vexcel, a US Defense Department contractor that specialized in high resolution aerial photography and automated 3D image rendering. That acquisition became the basis of Bing Maps' subsequent ambitious aerial imagery and 3D mapping efforts. Microsoft then improved upon the camera that Vexcel had developed. In 2010 Microsoft embarked on what it calls its Global Ortho (GO) project. For the past two years Bing has been "collecting every square inch of the Continental United States and Western Europe at 30cm resolut [...]

Bing Previews Rich Search Experience For Windows 8

Windows 8 is almost ready to hit the market. When it does it appears that it will deliver a new more "immersive" search experience, via Bing. In the video at the bottom of this page, Microsoft's Stefan Weitz demonstrates that new experience on a Microsoft Windows 8 tablet (presumably a Surface device). Windows 8 Bing appears to be very fast and it's highly visual, one of the most appealing aspects of the Bing experience. From my vicarious perusal of the materials the most compelling new feature appears to be what Microsoft/Bing is calling "snap." Initially, search results appear in a gri [...]

Bing Adds Boatload Of New “Venue Maps” For International Markets

Microsoft announced today, that in conjunction with Nokia, Bing has added "more than 2,700 venue maps" in North America, Europe and Asia. You can access them online at ("explore venue maps"). In the US and UK markets venue (indoor) maps are also available on Windows Phones and through the Bing app for the iPhone. The following are the categories of venue maps on Bing (numbers indicate coverage in the US): Airports (85) Amusement Parks (1) Casinos (25) Community Centers (1) Convention Centers (2) Hotels (2) Malls (1370) Museums (1) [...]

Bing Maps Introduces 38 Million Sq Kilometers Of New Satellite Imagery

As the "mapping wars" heat up Microsoft is introducing a huge new body of satellite imagery into Bing Maps. It's not clear whether any of this will extend to mobile given the apparent substitution of Nokia Maps for Bing in Windows Phone 8. The new imagery covers vast amounts of land on almost every continent. According to the Bing blog post, "The total area covered in this data release is nearly 38 million square kilometers." The company says that this single update constitutes more data (165 terabytes) than all the previous releases combined (129 terabytes). Bing also said that its [...]

Yelp Elevated By Apple Relationship, Second Only To Google In Local Importance Now

yelp-logo-featured We're starting to see what Apple Maps will look like as well as the features it will contain, among them check-ins on Yelp. At the same time it's becoming clear how important Yelp now is in the world of local and Local SEO through its Apple relationship. Yelp has always been important. However the site is now second only to Google in terms of its importance -- if not its equal. Yelp's Huge New Visibility On the iPhone 4S Yelp provided reviews for nearby local businesses found by Siri, in a generally mediocre local search experience. Though Yelp was the source of the content (or some of the c [...]

Microsoft Integrates More Nokia “Infrastructure” (Traffic, Geocoding) Into Bing Maps

Slowly Bing is handing over more of its mapping "back end" functions to Nokia, as part of the deal that brought the two together for the Lumia-Windows Phone partnership. Yesterday Microsoft announced that in 24 countries, including the US and UK, Nokia (Navteq) will be delivering traffic data to Bing Maps. The company also said that it would start using Nokia’s geocoding services in several (unnamed) countries to improve directions. In May last year I wrote Bing Maps To Be Powered (Replaced) By Nokia? A source argued to me that over time Nokia would gradually replace most of the [...]

Analyst: Mobile To Overtake PC For Local Search By 2015

Analyst firm BIA/Kelsey has projected that by 2015 there will be more local searches coming from smartphones than PCs  in the US. It's a bold prediction and one that has logical merit: smartphone search volumes are growing faster than search on the PC. While local search is at least 20 percent of total queries on the PC (per Google) it's at least 40 percent of smartphone queries, also according to Google. Mobile vs. PC Local Search Volumes (BIA/Kelsey Forecast) Source: BIA/Kelsey (2012) In some categories such as restaurants and travel, mobile searches represent 15 - 20 percent [...]

Microsoft Makes Venue Maps More Visible On Bing

Microsoft has introduced a number of improvements to Bing Maps, chief among which is making "venue maps" more obvious. Microsoft says there are roughly 900 venue/interior maps on Bing focused primarily on "malls, airports, casinos and shopping districts." Google has a similar initiative but it's focused on Google Maps for Android for the time being. Below is a comparison of Bing's Mall of America interior map and Google Map's version of the same site (the Android version offers the interior the PC version does not): Clearly the Bing experience above is more desirable. In New York [...]

Bing Maps Updates Map Pins, Adds Drag & Drop Routes & More

The Bing Maps Blog announced several enhancements to Bing Maps. In summary, the changes include: A refresh to the Pushpin buttons and Popup menu Transit symbols and icons were improved Added sharing options to transit directions Ability to now drag to modify your route The explore venue maps option is easier to find The most visible change is the first, the pushbuttons and popup menu changes. The blue pushpins are standard search results in the maps, the orange pushpins are results you saved to your maps. When you hover your mouse over a pushpin, you see the name of the loc [...]

Microsoft’s Photosynth App Goes Worldwide After 6 Million US Downloads

microsoft-photosynth-featured Microsoft's Photosynth iOS app, which has been available to US users for almost a year, is now available worldwide and includes a couple updates. In its blog post today, Microsoft says the app has passed six million downloads since its US-only launch last April. The app is now in version 1.1.3 and is available to iOS users around the world. It includes performance tweaks specifically for iOS5 users and adds Twitter sharing, too. Previously, photo panoramas could be shared on Bing Maps and Facebook. If you're not familiar with Photosynth, it's an underrated product that makes it almos [...]

Bing Testing New, Google-y Local Search Results

bing-b-logo If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the folks at Bing Local are paying Google a very nice compliment with a new display for local search results that looks quite a bit like what Google often shows. As first spotted by, Bing's new local search results no longer consistently show a "pack" of businesses listings and map at the top of the page, above all of the regular organic links. Instead, with the new display, Bing shows a mix of local results: The "pack" of listings may appear anywhere in the search results, not just at the top of the page. The map appears [...]

Microsoft And Nokia Unify Maps On PC, Mobile

Microsoft and Nokia announced the fruit of their recent mapping collaboration today. Each company has a blog post describing what's changed and improved (Bing, Nokia). The effort comes out of the companies' strategic partnership in mobile. As part of that arrangement Microsoft is relying heavily on the Nokia-Navteq mapping and data infrastructure. Nokia for its part has made Ovi Maps much more Bing-like in appearance. Essentially the UI has been simplified, colors have been muted and there's an improved "visual hierarchy" at each level of zoom. It's challenging for me to specifically tell w [...]

Google & Bing: We’re Not Involved In “Local Paid Inclusion”

local paid inclusion It sounds great. A program that guarantees top listings for local searches on Google, Yahoo and Bing. An "officially approved" one in "cooperation" with those search engines. But it's not so, say Google and Bing. The "Local Paid Inclusion" service launched officially today. The site's home page pitches: Local Paid Inclusion is a Google, Yahoo and Bing contracted service and is offered as an approved official program in cooperation with those search engines. Local Paid Inclusion promotes a local business’ profile page, like those found in Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local, into [...]

10 Basic Bing Local Optimization Tips

Local business marketers often hyper-focus on Google search rankings, but it's important not to forget that even if Bing and Yahoo! do not have the lion's share, even 15% of search volume can create a sizable number of potential business referrals. So, here are a few basic tips for optimizing for Bing Local search rankings. Optimization of business profiles in the Bing Business Portal (or "BBP") is not difficult nor time-consuming. Microsoft's newish Beta interfacing for administrating business listing details is actually pretty slick and easy to use. 10 Tips For Optimizing Local Busi [...]

Nokia Now “Powering” Bing Maps

In May of last year I had a conversation with someone who told me that Nokia Maps (Navteq) would effectively replace the infrastructure behind Bing Maps. I was surprised to say the least and wrote about it in a story entitled Bing Maps To Be Powered (Replaced) By Nokia? The impression I got is that Bing would control the presentation layer and search on top of maps but that the "guts" would come from Nokia/Navteq. At the time of the story Microsoft offered the following comment: Bing Maps has utilized Nokia content for road data, geo-coding and routing services for several years, through N [...]

Bing Makes Driving Directions Twice As Fast

Chris Pendleton announced on the Bing Maps blog that they have pushed out a major update to their driving directions "routing engine." The new routing engine is twice as fast as the old one and adds more features like adding up to 3 routes in one request. Previously, Bing Maps used a routing algorithm named Dijkstra's algorithm. They replaced it with a new one named "Customizable Route Planning" or "CRP" for short. The new Customizable Route Planning algorithm is "twice as fast" as the Dijkstra's algorithm, according to Chris Pendleton. Chris also posted an excerpt of how this new rou [...]

Google Maps The Great Indoors (Android Only)

Screen shot 2011-11-29 at 9.04.51 AM Google is bringing the blue dot indoors. Google Maps for Android 6.0 is going to start showing interior maps of airports, select malls and retail stores in the US and Japan. In Japan transit stations are also mapped. The floor plan data has been obtained from all the participating entities, which Google's Steve Lee says are "very excited" to be a part of the program. Those entities include numerous Macy's, Bloomingdales, Home Depots and all US IKEA stores. (See the full US list at the bottom.) Below is a Google-provided screenshot of the Mall of America before interior maps and after: [...]

Bing Maps Expands Sharing, Editing Options

Bing has added new options for editing and sharing inside of Bing Maps. The "Send" link on a Maps search result now has an option to send a business listing to a mobile phone via SMS. This is available to users in the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Italy. There's also a "Share" link in the upper right of the map view, and that now has a couple new options that allow sharing of a map link on Facebook and Twitter. There's also a new short URL feature that uses Bing's domain. You can see that on Bing's screenshot above, but I'm not seeing it in actio [...]

Apple Maps Inevitable As Company Acquires 3D Mapper C3

apple-maps-featured Apple has apparently bought its third mapping company, the Sweden-based C3 Technologies. The company's site has been taken down. C3 provides 3D mapping (a la Bing Maps or Google Earth) for a number of other publishers such as Nokia (Ovi Maps) and UK directory publisher Yell. (In the wake of this transaction Nokia will probably need to shift to Bing's 3D mapping.) I was given a demo of the product in Europe early this year and from what I could tell it was every bit as good as anything that Microsoft or Google are doing with 3D imagery on maps. Here's Nokia's description of C3 and its techno [...]

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