Google Adds Shopping Campaigns Features, Says Regular PLA Campaigns To Sunset In August 2014

google-shopping-products-featured Google introduced Shopping campaigns to all advertisers running Product Listing Ads (PLAs) in February as a way to simplify PLA set up and management. Today, Google announced some new features that have been rolling out in response to advertiser feedback, and they laid out the succession plan for Shopping campaigns to take over legacy PLA campaigns. Probably the most requested change is the addition of multiple ad groups. When Shopping campaigns debuted, campaigns consisted of just one ad group, which many advertisers found limiting. Retailers can now set up multiple ad groups within a Shoppi [...]


Microsoft Photosynth Creator Agüera y Arcas Joining Google

Blaise Agüera y Arcas Last night, the NY Times reported that the man primarily responsible for Microsoft's Photosyth product, Blaise Agüera y Arcas, is joining Google. Agüera y Arcas is not simply an engineer or technician, he offers a rare combination of technical expertise, design and product vision. Agüera y Arcas joined Microsoft when his 2003 startup, Seadragon, was acquired by Microsoft Research in 2006. The next year, that technology launched as Photosynth, one of the most innovative software tools or products Microsoft had then produced to date. Unfortunately, the Photosynth never caught on among [...]


Bing Brings Enhanced Mapping To Windows 8.1

Bing Maps Preview Yesterday Microsoft announced "Bing Maps Preview" for Windows 8.1 (including tablets). The new mapping app offers a range of enhanced features and capabilities. It seeks to bring highly realistic, 3-D imagery together with a more intuitive UI. Google Earth and what used to be called Microsoft Virtual Earth have always been a bit slow and clunky as daily mapping and local search tools. Now with Bing Maps Preview Microsoft is trying to merge the daily, mundane world of local search with the more imaginative and leisure uses of 3D mapping (virtual sightseeing, travel planning). Microsoft sa [...]


Microsoft Turns Off Streetside Imagery In Germany Over Photo Blurring Concerns

bing-microsoft-streetside Here's a shocker*: Microsoft's Streetside service has hit a bumpy road in Germany. The company says it's shut down Streetside imagery in Germany after complaints about the way the company was handling blurring requests. Microsoft spokesperson Thomas Baumgartner tells PCWorld that he's not sure if or when Streetside will be reinstated in Germany. A Microsoft statement says that the complaints are from "customers," not from any government data protection-related agencies. We have learned that there are a limited number of customers in Germany who raised concerns about the way we are pur [...]


After Little Resistance in Germany, Bing Expands Streetside Photos Across Europe

bing-streetside-car Microsoft's Streetside photo service will be taking photos across Europe before the end of the year. The expansion comes on the heels of its launch in Germany earlier this year -- a move that's generated far less resistance than Google's Street View service. According to German news reports today, Bing's Streetside service has received about 90,000 requests from German residents wanting their homes removed, while Google received about 244,000 similar requests when Street View launched there last year. "Compared with other services, the acceptance of our service is great," Microsoft spokesw [...]


Bing Maps Tweaks Streetside, But Silverlight Still Needed For Best Experience

Bing Maps has added what it's calling a "significant enhancement" to its Streetside product, but the best version remains the one that's only available with Microsoft's Silverlight plugin installed. According to today's announcement, the Streetside upgrades are both structural and functional. On the structural side, Bing has eliminated what it calls "bubbles" of street-level views and replaced them a more seamless collection of imagery. They did this by using technology from another Microsoft project called Street Slide, and the new desktop experience more closely resembles how Streetsi [...]


Bing’s Read/Write World: An Ambitious Project To Bridge Maps With Movies, Photos, Local Data & More

read-write-world-featured It's probably not something that you can wrap your head around pretty quickly. It's also not something you can describe in quick, easily digestible terms. "It" is a new Microsoft Bing effort called Read/Write World that has some pretty lofty goals: things like indexing and connecting all of the world's "geo-linked media." And not just indexing and connecting all this media, but also making it easy to use and consume, too, on any platform and type of device. It's stuff like maps, photos, panoramas, movies, business listings -- almost anything that can be tied to a physical location - [...]


Bing’s Streetside Already Facing Objections In Germany

Well, that didn't take long. Just days after announcing plans to operate its Streetside map/photo service in Germany, Microsoft is already dealing with its first governmental objection. Thomas Kranig, head of the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection, has issued a statement (in German; here's a Google translation to English) giving objections to Bing's plans for letting residents opt-out of Streetside photography. In short, Kranig says Bing should allow residents to opt-out before any photographs are published online. Bing's plan is to publish the photographs first and then allow re [...]


Into The Lion’s Den: Microsoft Launching Streetside In Germany

Hoping to avoid the problems that have plagued Google's Street View service, Microsoft says it will launch its version -- Streetside -- in Germany next month. Microsoft Germany tells Deutsche Welle that Streetside vehicles will begin driving in four cities (Nuremberg, Furth, Erlangen and Augsburg) on May 9th. The images should be online sometime this summer. Eventually, Streetside cars will photograph about 50 German cities in the next 18 months. Google has had all kinds of problems with its Street View service in Germany. Some towns tried blocking Street View almost as soon as Google an [...]


Bing Releases Version 2.0 Of iPhone App

Bing has released a new version of their iPhone app. This is a version 2.0 update and includes a huge array of new features. You can download the app by clicking here. Those features include: Quickly find the perfect restaurant based on your price range, cuisine, atmosphere, or location. Easily find great movies by name, location, or theater. Use the Plans feature to plan a night out, a dinner and a movie, or any event you want. See what plans your Facebook friends like and read their comments. More transit directions to help you plan your commute. Real-time transit updates for [...]


Bing Demos StreetSide With Flickr Photos, Live Video & “Bing Sky”

Today at the TED conference in Southern California, Microsoft's Blaise Aguera y Arcas demonstrated a new crowdsourced-version Bing Maps that integrates photos and even live video that is shared by others. Microsoft will also soon launch what we've dubbed "Bing Sky," the ability to use Bing to look up in the sky and see what's in space above. Bing also has a blog post with the news. It's the live video that will likely cause the most buzz from today's news. During the demo, Bing streamed video live from Seattle's Pike Place Fish Market into a static picture of the market, as viewed through [...]


Bing Maps Steals The Cool Crown From Google

Microsoft has had a collection of mapping tools and assets that haven't been fully utilized or received the play (or usage) of Google Maps. But in an announcement today Bing Maps breaks new ground in online mapping even as it plays a bit of catch up with Google. First, Bing Maps is introducing "Street Side" in 56 US metro areas, with the ambition to go global eventually. This is the Microsoft answer to Google Street View: immersive street-level photography that, like Street View, allows users to "walk down the street" and explore neighborhoods in cities. Microsoft began Street Side at rough [...]


Microsoft vs. Google: Street Photography Rigs Compared

Gizmodo, in something of a tongue-in-cheek post, compares the cars and cameras Google is using to capture its StreetView imagery with those being used by Microsoft for what has been known as StreetSide. StreetSide is a Live Local product that predated Google's StreetView but has been limited to San Francisco and Seattle. What this post suggests, although I've yet to confirm this with anyone officially, is that Microsoft is expanding its StreetSide program beyond the two cities -- perhaps in response to StreetView. Opinions are mixed about the utility (vs. novelty) of street-level photogra [...]


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