Bing’s Streetside Now Appearing In The UK

In April of this year Microsoft announced that its visual mapping feature, Streetside, was making its way to Europe. The BBC reported at the time that cars mounted with the now familiar 360 degree cameras were driving around London collecting images. The fruit of that effort has now begun to appear. Microsoft previously said that it isn't going to try and map every street in every European capital. Rather it would concentrate on urban and more heavily trafficked areas -- a kind of 80/20 bet. In following Google into Europe Microsoft also benefits from the former's earlier missteps, [...]


Bing Maps The Mall

Today Bing added 400 shopping mall maps as part of a larger "venue maps" (indoor mapping) effort. A minor but useful addition to Bing Maps (especially if the initiative expands), users can now zoom in on any of the included malls and see the stores and related details for the various tenant retailers. This is the expansion of a product enhancement that was first introduced last December. It works both online and at m.bing.com, although I had some difficulty finding a mobile example this afternoon. Below is an example from the PC version of Bing Maps, a mall map for the San Francisco Cent [...]


Whoa Doggies! Bing Lassoes Search On The iPad

Microsoft is updating Bing for iPad with a useful new search feature called "Lasso." It offers a simpler way to search in context -- with your finger. On any page within the Bing app (which is effectively a Safari browser alternative) users will be able to circle a word or phrase -- hence the name "Lasso" --  and it will automatically search on that term or keyword in Bing. It's not unlike a right-click search on the PC but on a tablet using your finger. Users can return to the original story or content they were viewing in Bing with two swipes. The Bing app for iPad should be av [...]


Mobile Phone Forecast Sees Windows Beating iOS By 2015

Practically every day some research firm somewhere in North America or Europe releases a forecast about how many widgets will be sold next year, or how large a given market is going to be in five years. And every day the overwhelming majority of those forecasts are poised to turn out wrong. In most cases forecasting market size or growth is an art form rather than a science. Assumptions drive the metrics behind the models. But we typically don't get to see the assumptions so clearly on display as we do in the recent IDC smartphone forecast (below). Some Safe and Risky Assumptions Across t [...]


Bing Mobile To Feature iPhone Apps In Search Results

Here's a new way for iPhone users to find apps: Bing is now showing relevant app download links right in the search results of Bing's iPhone app and mobile browser. The examples above from Bing's blog post show search results for (L-R) "Thor," "Facebook" and "Hotels in Seattle." Where this might be helpful is in cases when the searcher isn't aware that there's an iPhone app related to a search result. (The iPhone app store has its own search engine, but that generally works best when you know what app you want to download.) At the same time, iPhone app links will also show up on s [...]


Microsoft Makes Mobile Bing More Social Too

bing-mobile-featured Yesterday during the SMX Advanced session called "Up Close with the Bing Business Portal," Microsoft's Andy Chu took a couple of minutes to announce a range of feature upgrades for the Bing mobile site (m.bing.com) as well as their expansion to the UK version of Bing for mobile browsers. Among these upgrades, a "Share on Facebook" capability has been broadly added to search results, local business listings and other areas. There's also a new "carousel" presentation for top that allows users to quickly flip through news headlines. It creates something like a "news cube" that spins with a mil [...]


Microsoft Releases “Mango” Windows Phone Update, Will Consumers Bite?

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 7.51.19 AM This morning Microsoft officially unveiled "Mango," its anticipated Windows Phone update with a dizzying array of upgrades and new features and developer tools. Microsoft emphasized the speed of its mobile browser, a range of new local search capabilities, Bing Vision (visual search like Google Goggles), "a smarter approach to apps" and new group messaging and email features. There were so many feature tweaks and improvements that it's difficult to summarize them all. The video below highlights the major changes and upgrades of Mango. The central question is will these changes make Wi [...]


Bing Maps To Be Powered (Replaced) By Nokia?

bing-maps-nokia-featured I had a chance lunch with a person with close connections to Nokia about a week ago. Naturally we began talking about the outlook for the Microsoft-Nokia Windows Phone deal. He was hopeful but mindful of the risks for both companies. Our conversation eventually turned to a discussion of Nokia's mapping division Navteq and what role it would play in the relationship. He told me some things that I found basically shocking. Details Are Vague I had generally been aware that Nokia Maps would be a part of the deal somehow. (Nokia spent $8 billion to acquire Navteq in October, 2007.) However I h [...]


Microsoft Buys Skype For $8.5 Billion, Now What?

microsoft-skype-hearts-featured Over the past week there were rumors that Google and Facebook were both interested in buying Skype. Then Om Malik reported that Microsoft was really the one interested and the Wall Street Journal confirmed yesterday that Microsoft would be paying a remarkable $8.5 billion for the company, making it Microsoft's largest acquisition to date: At a value close to $8 billion, the Skype deal would rank as the biggest acquisition in the 36-year history of Microsoft, a company that traditionally has shied away from large deals. In 2007, Microsoft paid approximately $6 billion to acquire online adve [...]


Apple Moving To Close Gap With Android On Speech, Navigation

Screen shot 2011-05-07 at 8.09.53 AM As a long-time Android user I can tell you two specific areas where Android beats the iPhone's otherwise superior user experience hands down: speech and navigation. All text fields on Android devices are speech-enabled, including email, SMS and the search box on any site. The iPhone offers "voice control commands" that allow users to initiate a call or play music with speech. But the breadth of what you can do on the iPhone with voice is much more narrow. There is of course voice search on the Google and Bing apps, but that has to do with Google and Microsoft's own technology and nothing to [...]


Bing Previews Plans For Local, Mobile Ad Options

Image via Microsoft At a time when competitor Google is focusing intensely on mobile and local, Microsoft's Bing is sharing plans for ad products that would go toward evening the score between the two biggest search players in the U.S. The company will introduce radius targeting for search ads, allowing advertisers to choose a specific five to 100 mile radius around an address. This will be available in all adCenter markets in "the coming months," according to a blog post by Dennis Glavin, the group product manager and lead on local search advertising for Microsoft. Google already offers similar targeting capa [...]


Bing To Become Default Search (And Maps) On RIM BlackBerry Devices

Bing To Become Default Search (And Maps) On RIM BlackBerry Devices According to a tweet from Michael Gartenberg Bing is going to be the default search engine on RIM BlackBerry devices. Apparently Steve Ballmer took the stage at BlackBerry World 2011 and announced that Bing and Bing Maps would be "integrated at the OS level" on BlackBerry handsets coming later this year. Bing for Mobile offers a generally strong user experience and this is an interesting effort at differentiation for RIM (vs. Android and iPhone). However, regardless of whose numbers you consult RIM has been losing smartphone share to Apple and Google over the past year. Below are the [...]


Bing Number 1 Among Free iPad Apps

I was updating some apps on my iPad today and saw that Bing is currently ranked #1 among free apps: Read our overview of the Bing iPad app, when it launched last week. [...]


In Challenge To Google Places, Microsoft Launches “Bing Business Portal” For SMBs

bing-business-portal-featured This morning Microsoft is launching the "Bing Business Portal" (BBP). It replaces the the Bing Local Listing Center, and all listings already there have already been migrated over. The BBP allows local business owners or their agents or designated representatives to claim and enhance listings with additional content including deals. Business owners can also add links to Facebook and Twitter. Here's what you can do in the Bing Business Portal: Claim, create, verify, and manage local business listings Identify key search categories where you want your listing to appear Customize l [...]


Bing Launches A Killer iPad App

bing-ipad-featured Not an "iPad killer" . . . a killer app for the iPad. Bing's iPhone app was impressive, but with its new iPad app Microsoft has created an even more impressive app for a rival platform. It's a great and very useful tool for the tablet. And yes, it's a lot more fun and interesting to use than Google's equivalent mobile search app for the iPad. Users can search, including with voice, but that's perhaps the least of it. There's also a wealth of aggregated content including news, weather, shopping, maps, travel information, movies, video, images, new "trends" and financial information access [...]


HP’s TouchPad To Use Bing Maps As Default

The Pre Central blog offered up some screens from the forthcoming webOS tablet, the HP-Palm TouchPad, which show Bing as the default maps provider on the device. The screens are reportedly authentic because they were obtained from the webOS 3.0 emulator. What this also suggests is that on HP-Palm devices beyond its TouchPad Bing could be the default mapping provider. (HP has a toolbar/default search deal with Microsoft.) Google was the maps application for the initial Palm Pre smartphones. That's not to say that Google Maps won't be accessible on new Palm devices via the internet/mobile [...]


Bing Mobile Updated: Improved HTML5 Features, App Search & More

Bing Microsoft's Bing team announced some significant changes and updates to Bing For Mobile. The core changes include better HTML5 support, better and faster image search, real-time transit and directions, iPhone app search, improvements to shopping, weather and movie search results. The new interfaces and features currently work on all smartphone browsers that support HTML5, so that includes iPhone and Android devices but currently excludes Microsoft's own smartphone, the Windows Phone 7 until they add HTML5 support later this year. Bing Mobile Search Updates: Transit Directions and Real- [...]


Big Mobile Data Dive From SMX West

I moderated the three mobile sessions on mobile at SMX West earlier this month: Mobile Search Ads, Location Services: The New Local Search? and Mobile Apps. A ton of great advice, stats and data came out of these sessions; you had to be fast to get it all. For those who weren't fast enough or weren't there I've pulled a few of what I think are the salient mobile data points and slides from these sessions. However this is only a partial summary. During two sessions, Microsoft shared these data points: 53% of queries have a local intent (previously discussed on this blog) 46% of quer [...]


First Angry Birds Product Integration To Tout Bing

Are digital porkers continually outwitting your Angry Birds? Try Bing for the answer to vanquishing the porcine menace. In a first for Rovio, the developers of the hit mobile app, the company has struck a deal whereby Microsoft's Bing search will be integrated into the Angry Birds game. Angry Birds, which boasts versions for the iPhone, iPad and Android OS devices, has a US audience of 25 million players currently. It's also coming to Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone 7 later this spring, in another partnership between Rovio and Microsoft. "Angry Birds is a phenomenon that is growing rapidly an [...]


Bing Brings Local Deals To Mobile, PC

Bing is introducing deals for mobile (m.bing.com) and the PC. Mobile deals are available for the HTML5 sites for the iPhone and Android. They aren't yet in Bing's mobile apps but will be integrated soon according to Microsoft's Stefan Weitz. The source of deals here is The Dealmap, which is also the principal source of offers for Citysearch's recent Deals app. However Microsoft will probably include other deal sources later. The Dealmap immediately provides Bing with "more than 200,000 offers in over 14,000 locales locations across the U.S." It includes daily deals from a number of s [...]


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