bing

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.

More →
2
loading...
1
loading...
22
loading...
0
loading...

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...

More →
0
loading...
1
loading...
14
loading...
0
loading...

Microsoft continues to flesh out their Xbox live app for those of us that have iPads. The latest update brings more of the once exclusive features of the Windows Phone Companion App to iOS users. Unlike Windows Phone, which has a combination of apps to take care of Xbox live business, the iPad rolls all the functions into one. Personally, I like it all integrated into one whole and have been a little confused as to why the Windows Phone has essentially stuck with the Xbox Hub plus the two addition apps called Xbox Companion app and Xbox LIVE Extras App.

More →
2
loading...
0
loading...
35
loading...
0
loading...

Nokia have just announced an update on how they are progressing with their Destination Maps product. The aim with the initiative is to provide an additional layer of mapping data where it makes sense. In this case Nokia are essentially aiming for Shopping Malls, Airports and other large scale public spaces. The rate at which they are adding these internal spaces is impressive, now boasting 4605 venues in 38 countries. 

More →
1
loading...
4
loading...
22
loading...
0
loading...

We previously looked at Bing UK rolling out the social update we've witnessed being released elsewhere, but it seems as though we're not going to get the full package - at least not the SERP social sidebar anyway. What the Bing UK search engine has received is a slight upgrade with Facebook and Live connectivity, plus a slight design revamp.

With our previous coverage, we received numerous comments from readers who reside in multiple countries, all confirming no social sidebar. Unfortunately, it seems as though this is a limited feature with only the US sporting the whole shabang thus far. But what we all do have after the upgrade is a cleaner interface, larger homepage images, and clearer result pages. Let's hope more is on the way.

If that wasn't enough to heal the social wounds, the Bing team have worked hard on optimisation and under-the-hood improvements. Question is: do you like the sidebar? Would you like to see it included, or is what we have so far enough?

Source: Bing UK

More →
1
loading...
0
loading...
12
loading...
0
loading...

Microsoft yesterday announced commercial availability of their Microsoft Translator Hub. The service has been designed to allow developers and business to deliver tailored, real-time translation in up to 39 languages.  The real-time translation is available as an Azure Marketplace application, enabling users to leverage the Microsoft Cloud to deliver more relevant machine translation applications to their customers.

The applications vary for this service but as an example, it will allow for fluid, real time translation of live web chat interactions from customer services representatives. It goes beyond plain machine translation by allowing the output to be fully optimised for that particular application. A private set of data can be uploaded and using the Translator’s machine learning training system, output can then be tailored as required. Manipulating the output could allow exclusion of business specific nomenclature such as names of products or abbreviations. These customised translation scenarios can then be tested deployed so that they suit each application for which they are targeted. Once the solution is deployed, it can accessed through the familiar Microsoft Translator Service API, all the time being kept private or shared, depending on what you require.

More →
1
loading...
11
loading...
43
loading...
0
loading...

Is the Bing Social sidebar finally coming to the UK?

It seems that the Bing UK team are beginning to (or are testing a potential) rollout of the design refresh we've seen in the US. Unfortunately, while we can clearly see a familiar login element, we are not receiving the actual sidebar itself. Once Bing UK was loaded, we could login via Windows Live and subsequently connect to Facebook.

After logging in was achieved, and Facebook accounts were connected, once loading search results we were presented with a new look, as well as our name (with drop down arrow for menu options) accompanied by a settings icon. Rewind back to the release of the Bing US design refresh and you'll see something similar (see below screencap) to what we currently have with Bing UK.

We could well be on the verge of an identical design refresh with further social integration, which the US has enjoyed for some time. Have you noticed anything changing on Bing UK? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks, Louis, for the heads up!

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
18
loading...
0
loading...

Is VideoSurf's technology used in Windows Phone 8?

With today’s leak of supposed Windows Phone 7.8 features (that list is reportedly not complete either) perhaps the most interesting aspect was the new Windows Phone 8 feature with TV support via Bing Audio.

We speculated that this was an IntoNow-like service whereby you can ID television shows by letting your phone sample audio from whatever you are watching. This is analogous to the Bing Audio music ID feature introduced in Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. The question is how would Microsoft do this? Did they just invent their own video-audio ID service?

The answer may be found with an acquisition by Microsoft late last year of a company called VideoSurf (www.videosurf.com; press release).

More →
6
loading...
5
loading...
43
loading...
0
loading...

It was a few weeks ago when Nokia and Microsoft announced that Bing Maps would be getting a bit of a backend overhaul. Specifically in two areas: new color codes for traffic and more detail on back roads.

Perhaps even more importantly, some countries which previously didn't have access to mapping data would be getting the feature in a timed rollout. All in all, 24 countries were being added to the list including Italy and the UK.

We can at least verify that those latter two now have traffic as an option on their devices. Users can simply launch Maps and tap the three-dots on the lower menu. There, the "enable traffic" option should now be available.

It's great to see such a feature comes to other regions as it's something many of us have taken for granted since Windows Phone 7 came out in 2010. If you've noticed traffic added to any of these other countries, sound off in comments: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or UAE.

via: Plaffo; Thanks Andrew, James, for UK info

More →
0
loading...
2
loading...
20
loading...
0
loading...

Hey, look at that. We actually noticed it this morning but it didn't register in our sleepy heads, but Bing's Social Search "Preview" is now available for those luckily enough to reside in the US. No, we're not sure why it's only US but perhaps it's more of a rollout thing to work out the bugs and quirks.

Anyway, if you head on over to bing.com you can hit the "Preview" button and you'll see the new login near the upper right of the screen. You now have the option to login with your Live ID credentials (we lost all of our Bing reward points when we created a new ID) and you can also login with Facebook. No Twitter or G+ just yet which is a bit of a shame, well at least for the former.

We haven't see the new pane layout just yet but perhaps it's just us (we're not big Facebook users) Our new layout is now live including the social bar to the right. You can see more on Bing's Social Search features here on their new sub-site: http://social.discoverbing.com/.

Thanks, ArtSooby, for the tip

More →
1
loading...
2
loading...
33
loading...
0
loading...

<a data-cke-saved-href='http://video.msn.com/?vid=e0aaf4ff-24c7-42a0-875f-40917489ea1b&mkt=en-us&src=SLPl:embed::uuids' href='http://video.msn.com/?vid=e0aaf4ff-24c7-42a0-875f-40917489ea1b&mkt=en-us&src=SLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Search with friends'>Video: Search with friends</a>

Microsoft is getting ready to overhaul Bing again and we like where it's going. The new Bing Search will integrate heavily with Facebook (leaving us non-users on the side) allowing you to quickly ping your friends, family and colleagues for tips, advice or to share your finds on the web with them directly.

In a way, it's sort of the logical next-step in search. Merging of social services with web inquiries makes sense and is the reason why sites like Quora have taken off .

The service just doesn't integrate with Facebook though as "social networks" is tossed around like the pop catch phrase it is implying that Twitter, LinkedIn and whatever Live can connect to today will also be on board. The system works by having a side panel that shows your friends' live stream, enabling you to quickly interact with them via the Bing Search page.

Clearly Facebook is front and center here for a few reasons, most notably the fact that's it the most popular of the bunch but also because Microsoft and Facebook love each sooo much it may almost may Nokia jealous.

Watching the demo video above, we can't help but wonder what Bing Search on Windows Phone 8 will be like. We have to imagine that this tight integration will carry over to mobile as well this Fall, giving Microsoft a new edge for search.

No word on when we can expect the new Bing to launch but you can sign up to be notified by clicking the source link. Question for you folks: Good idea or bad ? And do you think this will help them in their battle against Google?

Source: Bing (For US only for some odd reason)

More →
0
loading...
7
loading...
22
loading...
0
loading...

Microsoft is set to close down the Bing 411 service on June 1st, 2012. Bing 411 is a toll-free number for American residents that enables callers to search using voice and Tellme technologies. The free service provides users with local business search, weather and traffic reports, driving directions, sports scores, and stock quotes to name but a few.

Should you attempt to use Bing 411 (1-800-246-4411) you'll be greeted by a message stating the service will cease operations on the provided date. This follows the closure of Google's GOOG-411 back in October, 2010. With Bing services integrating into Windows Phone, will we miss the Bing 411 service? 

Source: LiveSide

More →
0
loading...
2
loading...
16
loading...
0
loading...

Yesterday, Microsoft released a new app for Windows 7 PCs called Bing Desktop (it was in beta for the last few weeks). It's an interesting move as Google as had their Desktop app for years (it's also a little creepy as it can search your hard disk).

Luckily, Bing Desktop does no such thing and darn it all, it's awesome to boot.

For one, it can download the Bing wallpaper daily to your PC and makes it your desktop background. Next, there's a nifty Bing Search bar that sits on your desktop and allows super quick access to Microsoft's increasingly awesome search service. Pro tip: pin it to the top of your screen and you can tap to bring it down anywhere for quick lookups-- Microsoft really nailed the interaction here in our opinion.

Enough chit chat though, go and download it here and read the Bing Team's description of it here. We think it's awesome though. You?

More →
5
loading...
15
loading...
70
loading...
0
loading...

Microsoft has recently updated the official Bing Translator app for Windows Phone, which reportedly adds functionality enabling users to translate from speech, via the camera or through keyboard input. With the camera, Translator allows users to simply capture a sign, menu, newspaper or any printed text on their Windows Phone for instant translations.

Language and phrase books can be downloaded within the app for offline usage, especially handy for when traveling abroad in supported countries (voice translations still require data connectivity). A variety of languages are available and results are fairly accurate. The in-app translators can be pinned to the home screen for convenient access when requiring fast results.

The interface is straight forward and functions are available straight from the main menu, there's little clutter in the Translator app. We've not touched on the Translator offering from Microsoft since the Windows Mobile days, but overall, it's not too shabby for a free app.

You can download Microsoft's Translator from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks Alexander for the heads up!

More →
2
loading...
18
loading...
30
loading...
0
loading...

Microsoft has setup a contest using their Bing Rewards to win one of five Nokia Lumia 900's. The contest "costs" 10 credits for some reason to get a chance in the contest, which is basically nothing in terms of Bing credits.

The contest runs through the month of April ending on May 1st. The winners will be chosen on May 10th and winners will be announced a week later on the Bing blog and contacted directly before then.

Sounds like a cool little way to potentially win a device. Of course most of you will probably buy a device before then, so consider this a chance for second one.

To learn more about Bing Rewards, head to their site to learn more: Dscoverbing.com/rewards/web

Source: Bing Rewards; Thanks, @purevibz, for the tip!

More →
5
loading...
1
loading...
30
loading...
0
loading...

Nokia has updated the colour palette for their mapping service and this change has been reflected through Microsoft's Bing with the partnership between the two companies. The alterations are to make the browsing experience easier and more aesthetically pleasing with improved typography, colours and less obstructive icons. The above image illustrates the change with the new version of Bing Maps on the left.

While these changes are present on the web versions of both Nokia and Bing Maps, Windows Phone owners will be able to witness the improvements in the official apps. Note that Nokia Drive wont be updated with the new look for a week or two.

What do you make of said changes?

Source: Nokia Conversations

More →
0
loading...
3
loading...
31
loading...
0
loading...

The Microsoft "Bing Get Me There" app, a helpful tool for anyone who's considering to travel through or/and around London, has been updated to now be able to report live updates for the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), London Overground and London Buses. The app is useful should you also require quick assistance to get home (or to a rail terminal) with a pinned tile opening up directions from your current location to the configured "home" in the settings.

Note that the LiveSide article is incorrect by stating that this is the only service that bundles together London's transport networks with the DLR, Overground and London Buses, as London Travel also sports live updates across the board (and is a must-have good app for anyone residing in/traveling through the big smoke).

One can download Bing Get Me There from the Marketplace for free.

Via: LiveSide

More →
1
loading...
0
loading...
16
loading...
0
loading...

Pocket-lint has learned from an interview with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, that the manufacturer will be having its branding stamped on Bing Maps in the near future. It doesn't matter what device you're accessing the maps from, you'll see "Nokia" on-screen. RIM has stated they'll be using Bing Maps on their Blackberry smartphones, so it's some free competitor exposure for the Windows Phone OEM.

"You'll starting seeing the word 'Nokia' on a map that you get from Microsoft properties over a period of time. Even if you are on a BlackBerry device, who recently said they were going to start using Bing Maps."

The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft is set to go deeper with the Finnish handset maker carrying out more work for the software giant, as Elop explains:

"In the time ahead, what you will see is, across all the Microsoft properties including Bing maps, more and more work will be done by Nokia. We did that for important reasons as we had the better mapping assets so it made sense. But it also creates some balance in the relationship with Microsoft."

Nokia has already been busy helping Microsoft with Bing Streetside (analogous to Google Street View), so it'll be interesting to see what 2012 brings for the two companies in terms of product collaboration - like possibly helping keep pedestrians safe while walking?

Source: Pocket-lint

More →
4
loading...
2
loading...
26
loading...
0
loading...

Though we love our Windows Phone, there are certain areas that need work. Certain areas that we know Microsoft will fix, given enough time and feedback, of course.  Such is this scenario: You do a Bing search for a local business, restaurant, etc. Upon glancing over the results, you decide you would like to save this company's information to your People Hub which is when you realize you can't do it.

As it turns out, if you want to save a Bing search result to your People Hub, you'll have to do it the old fashion way: by hand. Very frustrating, to say the least.

Now, a new app landing next week in the Marketplace promises to fix that problem. The app is called BizSaver and is made by BC3 Technologies and we got an early look at the app which you can see in the above video. In short, once you install this app you really don't run it anymore. It simply adds itself to the related-apps under your search results, allowing you to directly save the contact's information to your People Hub with a couple of taps.

It's easy, elegant and just works. The best part? As usual it will be completely free with one-nary ad. Look for the app next week in the Marketplace and we'll of course let you know when it is available.

More →
3
loading...
0
loading...
31
loading...
0
loading...

If there was an over-hyped technology in late 2011 it was perhaps Apple's Siritheir voice recognition/information application for the iPhone 4s. Now we'll admit that Siri is quite a strong piece of tech one that we wish Windows Phone had built-in in addition to our Bing Voice service, but the marketing machine behind Siri was a tad overwhelming. Then again, there's no denying facts: Bing Voice while pragmatic for certain tasks is still behind Apple's Siri in some ways.

However, developer Shai Leib has given us Windows Phone users an option: Ask Ziggy. The new app is a free, ad-free and as far as we can tell, completely unique. We spoke with Leib about his project and how it works:

"Ask Ziggy uses Speech Recognition to translate human speech into transcribed text, which is displayed in a speech bubble. The transcribed text is analyzed for patterns to detect commands or general queries. Commands are interpreted and routed to routine phone tasks such as emailing, texting, calling, social network updates, and getting directions.

When a general question is asked, a mixture of mash up technologies and web scraping is employed to search the web for relevant responses. Pattern matching is used to summarize a direct answer from a web page. Several passes may be required to find a concise answer. A direct answer is then spoken out loud, and displayed in a speech bubble. When a direct answer cannot be summarized the user is prompted by speech to click on their search bubble to see web search results based on their spoken query."

That's some pretty impressive work for a single developer if you ask us. The actual voice-recognition software is based on Nuance but the data fetching and matching are all his doing. And it works. That's one thing we want to stress here, we didn't find this app gimmicky at all but instead quite useful for mathematical questions, random trivia, posting to our Twitter/Facebook/Live, getting directions, flight status and more. Having the phone read back to you the answer in a clean, minimalist setting makes it feel smart. Heck, it even got our Monty Python question right (see YouTube video).

The version you see in the video is heading to the Marketplace as we speak but you can grab the slightly older version right now. Give it a go--it's free, useful and really quite an extraordinary app. Leib also has a lot of plans to further refine and enhance the experience including expanded speech grammar, multi-language support and even language translations. Check out the Ask Ziggy website here for more info.

More →
4
loading...
75
loading...
133
loading...
0
loading...

Pages