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 [...]


Is Microsoft Blocking Google Search On New Lumia Phones?

microsoft-google-fight-featured According to a story appearing in The Verge yesterday, Microsoft is not allowing users to set Google as the default search engine for mobile web browsing on new Lumia 8.1 devices (630 and 930). As the article points out, the search button on the handset uses Bing and cannot be switched. I reached out to both Google and Microsoft yesterday and didn't receive a response from either. The Verge says that some of the European carriers were giving users the option to change the IE/browser search engine to Google. It's not entirely clear what the reality is. But if Microsoft is in fact not allowi [...]


Google Does Love Windows Phone, When It Comes To Search — Angering YouTube Users

Google | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)-1 Google doesn't care about Windows Phone, given the latest spat over its YouTube app? Think again. Google cares very much, at least when it comes to search. That apparent double-standards is something users of its Windows Phone search app have taken to its review page to express upset over. Windows Phone Doesn't Matter To Google? I've read a couple of news reports now where the whole dispute between Google and Microsoft over its YouTube app is taken as proof that Windows Phone just doesn't have enough market share for Google to care about. In contrast, Google makes a wide-range of apps for [...]


Bing Launches News, Sports, Weather & Finance Apps For Windows Phone 8

bing-mobile-featured After releasing a number of new updates for the Windows Phone 8 yesterday, Bing announced today it has launched News, Sports, Weather and Finance apps for the phone as well. Originally released for Windows 8 last October, the mobile versions offer a new collection of apps for Windows Phone 8 users. Bing News App Bing has partnered with a number of national, local and region news sources, including Associated Press, Reuters, Gizmodo and The Guardian, to deliver a customizable news app that lets users track specific story categories, topics or sources. Users can rearrange headline clusters t [...]


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 [...]


The Strange Explanation Of Why Windows Phone Users Lost Access To Google Maps

Google Maps icon On Friday, Windows Phone users supposedly found themselves unable to access Google Maps. But Google said it made no sudden change on its end to cause this. What happened? It seems likely many people simple noticed for the first time long-standing redirection that Google had in place for those not using Android or iOS devices. Windows Phone User? No Google Maps For You! To recap briefly, some Windows Phone users started reporting (as covered by The Verge) that they were unable to reach Google Maps using the Internet Explorer web browser on their phones. They got redirected instead to the Go [...]


Video: Searching Bing On Windows 8

windows 8 Microsoft released a video showing how you can use Bing on a Windows 8 powered device. They call the video, "Search Reimagined" and show off the touch aspects to search, as opposed to how search works currently on Bing.com. Here is the video: Bing on Windows 8: Search Reimagined from Bing on Vimeo. You can see how the experience feels a lot more fluid, interactive and fun to use versus the current search experience on Bing.com. Windows 8 is Microsoft's latest operating system release designed to work on their desktops, laptops, tablets, and home theater PCs. It is their most r [...]


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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