Cortana Expands To Other Markets, Becomes “Xiao Na” In China

cortana-600px There's increasing evidence that Microsoft's personal assistant Cortana is being positioned as a key differentiator vs. Android and iPhones. A new TV commercial (below) purports to compare Cortana to Siri, with a mock Siri voice saying "I can't do that" a number of times. This morning Microsoft announced new geographies and new features for Cortana as part of Windows Phone 8.1. It also announced a range of improvements and upgrades for the Windows Phone OS in general. The company is expanding Cortana's availability to China and the UK (beta), as well as Canada, India and Australia (a [...]


New Video Shows Microsoft “Assistant” Cortana In Action

Cortana screen shot Microsoft will be introducing its Siri and Google Now/Voice competitor Cortana with Windows 8.1 in April. The new "intelligent assistant" will eventually be available cross-platform, although launching on Lumia Phones. The name Cortana comes from a character in the game Halo. It was originally thought that Cortana would look like her character in the game (see image right). However it now appears "she" won't have a face or a body. Cortana is intended to help users discover and search for information as well as providing Google Now like personalization and "predictive search" capabilities [...]


Bing Ads Expands Mobile Sitelinks Coverage In US, Will Roll Out To EU Markets

bing-ads-new-240px Bing Ads announced today that it will complete the roll out of sitelink extensions on mobile devices in the US in coming weeks. In a post on the Bing Ads blog, Microsoft's Eliot Li said they currently have enabled over 60 percent of the mobile traffic on the Yahoo Bing Network (YBN) to run sitelinks in the US. Sitelinks for Mobile will launch in several EU markets, including the UK, France, and Germany, says Li. Additionally, Li says Bing Ads has doubled the number of mobile clicks by growing its network over the past year.   [...]


Apple Makes Bing The “Default Search Engine” For Siri

bing-siri-featured One of the things that you might have missed if you weren't paying really close attention to the live blogs of the Apple WWDC keynote is that when iOS 7 comes out Siri will be able to directly search Twitter, Wikipedia -- and Bing. From a search perspective that's potentially huge news. I'm speculating that you'll still be able to ask Siri to "search the web" and it will use whatever search engine you've chosen for Safari (still Google unless changed by the user). However Siri is now much more a legitimate "search engine" with Bing as the index. Integration of web search more directly in [...]


Bing Updates Windows 8 Apps Enhancing News, Finance, Weather, Sports, Maps & Travel

Win8-live-tiles Microsoft announced they have made major updates to the Bing Apps for Windows 8 across most of their apps including News, Finance, Weather, Sports, Maps and Travel. The video below walks you through the changes, but here are some highlights of the core changes to each section. News: You can now customize the type of news you want to see by category. For example, if you like sports but not entertainment news, you can tell Bing, and the app will show you only sports related news items. In addition to that, Bing has added RSS feeds and offline reading. Maps: The maps feature has improved [...]


Nokia Partners With Xyo To Power “Replacement App” Search For Windows Phones

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 10.36.29 AM One of the persistent criticisms of Windows tablets and Windows Phones is that they just don't have the app selection of Android or iOS. Microsoft says however that Windows Phones currently have access to 120,000 apps. Nokia adds,"Of the top 50 apps available for iPhone and Android, 46 of them are available" on the Windows Phone platform. In an interesting and creative move Nokia has partnered with app search engine Xyo to help you discover "replacement apps" for Windows Phones if particular iOS or Android apps aren't available (yet) for Windows Phones. The site is directed at iPhon [...]


Google Releases Search App For Microsoft Surface & Windows RT

Exciting news for Google users who have upgraded to the Microsoft Surface device & Windows RT operating system. You can now download the Google Search App, which is specifically optimized for the Windows Surface and Windows RT. Google announced this on their Google+ page saying: If you just got a new Windows RT tablet and want to use Google Search, you’re in luck—you can now download the Google Search app optimized for Windows RT. It’s got all the good stuff: voice search, instant results and doodles. Just go to our “Get Your Google Back” site at http://www.google.com/hom [...]


Last Minute Tips To Use Mobile Search To Ramp-Up Holiday Sales & Beyond

This holiday shopping season is predicted to the the biggest ever for mobile commerce. A new survey from Deloitte expects that holiday sales from mobile devices will hit $36 billion this year, accounting for 5.1% of the $925 billion online total. Your Holiday To Do List So, if you have a mobile store up and running, you'll want to make sure your mobile store is ready to attract, inform, and convert incoming shoppers. Here are some great tips from past columns that should be part of your to-do list: If you have a responsive design mobile site, you'll want to take a second look at the Tune [...]


iPhone 5 Won’t Change Mobile Search, But Can Nokia?

With the launch of the iPhone 5, perhaps the most eagerly awaited electronics launch ever, speculation has been rampant on the impact it'll have on the mobile phone market, on Apple's future as an innovator post-Steve Jobs, and on the coolness of the next gadget to get dropped into your pocket. But from a mobile search perspective, iPhone 5 is pretty much more of the same. A more effective version of Siri will be standard in the new phone's iOS 6 - but that was a game changer from the iPhone 4s. iPhone 5 has certainly caused a sales storm, pushing more smartphones into more pockets. B [...]


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 [...]


Ballmer: 70% Of The Time, Google & Bing Are The Same, So Try Bing!

steveballmer It's perhaps one of the strangest product pitches I've heard. Asked on stage at Web 2.0 Summit by John Battelle about his Bing search engine, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer encouraged the audience to try Bing because, well, it's pretty much the same as Google. The Ballmer 70/15/15 Challenge "I would issue you all a kind of challenge to try any search you want on Bing and Google," Ballmer said, explaining that 70% of the time, there won't be any difference in the results, that 15% of the time, Bing will be better and 15% of the time, Google will be better. Now, if Ballmer had said that maybe [...]


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