bing

Today has been an exciting day for both video gamers at E3 and Apple fans at WWDC. Despite what you may think, I actually followed Apple’s event just as closely as Microsoft’s press releases on the Xbox One.

As I sat on our sister site, iMore.com, and watched the WWDC Live blog I realized that I absolutely loved the updates to iOS7. Apple decided to go for a “flat” design and get rid of faux textures for a completely modern approach. As I watched on and became more excited I realized something; flat design, no faux textures, and Bing integration – this was Windows Phone.

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Apple has today unveiled that Siri in iOS 7 will be using Bing as its programmed search engine. The friendly voice-controlled assistant will be able to control more elements and functions of the iPhone, but we're pleased to see Apple choose Microsoft over Google for searching and interacting with the Interwebz. As well as Bing, Siri will make full use of services including Wikipedia and Twitter.

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Today Microsoft released the Bing Translator App for Windows 8. Just like the Translation application on your Windows Phone, you can now easily convert between 40 different languages using your PC.

Bing Translator app is based on years of Microosft Research and advanced machine learning. The application can translate text, visual images, and content you find on the web. Simply type in what you would like translated, point the tablet’s camera for an augmented experience, or use Windows 8’s share charm to translate content anywhere on your PC.

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Want to experience beautiful awe inducing views of Mount Everest on your PC or Tablet? Now you can, thanks to Microsoft’s partnership with GlacierWorks. The newly launched HTML5 based site allows viewers to see the changes Mount Everest and the greater Himalayan regions have faced over the last 86 years. There is no better day to launch the project than today, the 60th anniversary of the historic first ascent to the summit of Everest.

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Microsoft hasn’t been shying away from the competition lately. Last week they finally hit a home run with an ad for Windows Phone. So here’s one highlighting the strengths of Bing over Google. It also happens to showcase a killer, but underused feature of Windows Phone. Videos below.

The following videos aren’t HD. Sorry, we got them from a reader before they were hidden from the Bing YouTube account. They were prematurely posted there, but not before our man grabbed them for us. Check them out.

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One of the neat features we like with Local Scout, the Bing service that shows you things to do around your location, is the tie in with apps. For instance, when you go under eat + drink and pull up a restaurant you can scroll over to Apps to open up the listing in a third party app like Foodspotting.

The ability to do that is quite useful as it saves you time in having to go to your favorite app and look up the same information. One change that came with Windows Phone 8 though has us scratching our head, and it’s affecting third party apps, including Liquid Daffodil’s popular Add to Contacts app.

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Microsoft has kicked off a festive campaign for its Bing search engine. With Valentine's Day soon approaching, the male populous will ascend on these mighty portals of vast searchfulness for ideas on how to either woo a desired female, or make their way out of the dog house. Taking advantage of the popular celebration of love, the company is asking "what do you consider the most important quality in a partner?"

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The Windows Phone 7.8 update is here. Well, it will be once you're able to update your hardware should you not go down the manual route. We've all be eagerly awaiting the notification that there's a new build available, but what if you overlook a new feature or miss new functionality through excitement (with or without comforting alcohol), or simply not being aware that such magic exists? We'll quickly run you through on how to get started with the 7.8 update.

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Earlier today, Facebook announced a new advanced search engine for users called Graph Search. The engine allows users to search content friends and others have shared in rather interesting ways.

For example, a phrase like “Friends who live in Los Angeles under 30” would produce a list of all your friends who currently live in Los Angeles and are under 30 years old. While Graph Search was built by Facebook, sometimes results from the web need to be pulled in to help add context to results. Facebook was planning on working with Google, but that plan fell apart over privacy concerns.

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Microsoft is getting feisty again with their Bing service as they’re taking the fight to Google with quite a snarky holiday ad released on YouTube.

With its "A Visit from St. Nicholas" style narration, the ad takes on Google’s practice of listing shopping results not so much based on lowest price or other reasonable metrics but rather who paid the most. As it turns out, some of the top results in Google are there because a company paid to have them there, as opposed to being what is best for the shopper. Or so that is what Microsoft alleges.

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The other day we mentioned how you use your Bing Reward points for a chance to win an HTC 8X Windows Phone. Did you know you can also use Bing Rewards to make purchases at the Windows Phone Store?

Redeeming 170 Bing Credits will get you $1.25 worth of Store Credit that can be used to buy apps and games.  Note, this is the same redemption offer we mentioned earlier this month but it appears the $5.00 Store Credit option is no longer available and it is only available for Windows Phone 8 because of the Wallet feature.

You'll need to sign up for the Bing Rewards Program and credits are earned each time you use Bing for your search needs. It's an easy way to pay for your Windows Phone Store purchases. Now if we could only get gift cards...

Thanks, Richard, for the tip!

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There are some apps that really stand out for being genuinely useful and Bing Translator is one of them. The app was released some time back on Windows Phone 7 and has rightly proved to be incredibly popular due to its slick operation and advanced features.

The app has been updated to support Windows Phone 8 and you can now initiate the augmented translation mode by using the new lenses feature.

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In reaction to Windows 8 going official today and Surface RT tablets coming tomorrow, Microsoft has also made some changes to what Bing shows for results.

The adjustment people will notice on their new Windows 8 devices is that searches for general terms like “travel” will now show Windows 8 Store results too with a convenient download button to the Store. Of course those of you with Windows Phones should already know this behavior when you do searches on your phone. Just another neat example of how Microsoft can leverage Bing for a better Windows experience.

Speaking of Windows Phone, some of those earlier announced changes to the Store for searching are also slowly taking effect of which you can read about here. Thanks, Dustin P., for the tip!

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BYOSE - 'Bing' Your Own Search Engine

Microsoft has kick-started the ‘Bing it on’ challenge, which puts Bing against Google to see which search engine can provide more relevant results. Google has been regarded as the most accurate search engine with Bing still claiming grounds and improving algorithms to catch up to the #1. Has Microsoft really achieved wonders with Bing?

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Microsoft has released an update to their Bing Get Me There app, which is available for those who either travel through or reside in London. The app enables users to keep up-to-date with the status of public transport links in the city. It also sports functionality for quick assistance to get the user home (or to a connecting rail terminal) with a pinned Live Tile opening up directions from current location to the configured "home" in the settings.

We previously looked at an update which was pushed out adding support for the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), London buses and Overground lines. Now the app has been bumped to version 1.5, which now includes a Bing search box for instant web searches from within the app, handy for those times when you require further information. Bug fixes and optimisation are bundled, as well as recently re-opened stations and stops.

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The Windows 8 SDK is pointing to some tantalising improvements to the maps functionality. Specifically maps will now support overlaying Landmarks, in this example, a 3d transparent building and pedestrian features. The pedestrian feature show in the example seems to be that of stairs.

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There’s been a lot of news today—both for Microsoft and Nokia—so we’re going to just touch on a bit of that and also mention some other Microsoft stories that you may have missed. So here’s your roundup:

  • Microsoft wants you take your Xbox security seriously and posts tips on how to do that
  • Mark Penn, former advisor to President Clinton, will be a VP at Microsoft where he hopes to make Bing cool
  • Microsoft may have lost money this quarter but their consumer division is actually doing well

So head on past the break for today’s wrap up...

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