search engine

Microsoft previously revealed to the world exactly how it's looking to evolve its Bing search engine and integrate the service into the "one" company vision. As well as a brand new logo (which looks more modern and fits in with what we've seen happen to the rebranding of Office, Windows, Windows Phone and other products), the web service itself has been completely revamped.

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UPDATE: Please see our interview with Bing scientist, Matt Wallaert, here.

Recently, a law professor from Yale claimed that Microsoft’s famous “Bing It On” campaign is no more than a collection of lies. Ian Ayres, stated in Freakonomics that the company’s Bing ads are misleading and deceptive. To prove his point, Ayres set out on a “Bing It On” challenge using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk marketplace.

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Sometimes technology is a collection of circuitry and silicon, sometimes though – it is a magical moment full of feelings and memories. The best experiences are born when technology transcends our knowledge and connects us with what we love. British science fiction writer and futurist, Arthur C. Clarke, once said:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Microsoft has been around for a long time and for those of us who live off of the technology they provide, some of the memories will never seep away.

In 2007, the company released a four minute commercial that has come to be known as “Your Digital Lifestyle”. The ad highlighted the then current hi-tech Microsoft products of the time and how one green shirted hipster used them to party the night away. The commercial is set to a cover of Ash’s Girl from Mars by Canadian group, Magneta Lane.

Buckle up, because we are going on a field trip to six years ago; along the way, we are going to jam with our green shirted friend and revisit some of our past Microsoft technology goodies. Windows Vista will probably be seen along the way, but there will be plenty of other experiences to combat that bad flavor.

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Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, might not be ahead of the pack when it comes to market share, but the company is always innovating and trying to deliver the best experience to their end users. On any given day, we are told that Bing runs hundreds of various experiments that range from small search algorithm tweaks to feature optimization.

Microsoft usually keeps their test on a down low – testing and tweaking them to determine whether they are a worthy addition to Bing. Yesterday though, Microsoft shared their latest experiment, Bing Boards.

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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

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Poynt growth moves past 11 million users

Poynt is a popular search engine for your Windows Phone and the company announced today that the application has surpassed 11 million users and over 2.1 billion interactions globally. The stats represent a collective between the companies Windows Phone, Android, Nokia, Blackberry and iPhone apps. The growth also represents a 158% boost in overall growth in it's user base since March of 2011.

For those not familiar with Poynt, it's a localized search application that points you in the right direction for what your searching for. Search features include quick search tiles for restaurants and businesses, weather information, turn by turn mapping, and live tile support.

Poynt is a free, Mango app and is available in India, Canada, the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and the United Kingdom. You can find Poynt here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Source: Poynt

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T-Mobile, for some reason (we bet they signed something), evidently insists on making Google the default search engine for their phones, including the HTC HD7. It's sort of annoying for many because Bing is actually really good at what it does.

In the Mango update for the HD7 for T-Mobile (in the US at least), users have an extra option under the IE9 settings--basically they get to choose Google as default or switch to Bing, which is migh-tee nice of them, no? Of course, you're probably wondering why the rest of us don't have that option to go in reverse, right? Yeah, we don't know either.

But at least for T-Mo users, feel free to switch back to Bing now and take a shower to wash the ick off. Thanks, Prakash G., for the tip and photo!

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Truecaller - Review

Need to look up a phone number that's appeared on your Windows Phone caller ID? Truecaller is a Windows Phone 7 app that will let you not only search by keyword but also by phone numbers.

Results are returned listing the name and address (if available), a link to show the location on TrueCaller's map, a link to search the result through Bing, as well as the ability to call the number or add it to a spam listing. While I like the ability to add a number to a spam list, there doesn't appear to be any way to manage such a list.

TrueCaller also gives you access to International numbers.  Just tap the Choose Country at the bottom of the main page and select the Country you would like to search.  For the most part, TrueCaller ran smoothly but from time to time, the app crashed while conducting the search.  It's not enough to drive you crazy and hopefully the next update will fix things.

There isn't a trial version available for TrueCaller but the full version is only $.99. If you need to search phone numbers, TrueCaller is worth a look at.

You can find the Windows Phone 7 app here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace and follow the break to see a video of TrueCaller in action.

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We assume you've heard the whole China-Google-IE6 debacle that's going on, along with the the Apple-Google falling out, so it really comes of no surprise that Microsoft is using this opportunity to edge Bing over Google search.

In fact the rumor du jour is that Apple is seriously considering replacing Google search as their default search engine on the iPhone with Bing.  And why not?  Bing has turned out to be a big hit for Microsoft, which is no small feat considering the competition.

We expect as Google gets bigger and more powerful this will happen more often. How long do you think Firefox will continue their relationship with Google and Chrome? We've also heard recent inside report that some OEMs are not happy with Google and the Nexus One for obvious reasons.

Sure if Microsoft pulls this off, it's partially because they're a pawn, but a win is a win in business. Plus the better Bing does, the more money Microsoft can sink into fixing our Bing for Mobile 5.0 application, ahem.

[Businessweek via The iPhone Blog]

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Bing updates its mobile portal

We're still waiting on an update to the native Bing app for Windows Mobile. But in the meantime, the mobile portal has been updated. Here's what's new, according to the Bing blog:

  • NFL feature – type a team or player and see upcoming games, stats, and scores. While the game is on, you can get real-time updates on the plays. (U.S. only)
  • Flight status – enter the airline and flight number and get the latest departure and landing times.
  • Bing for touch devices – Great news for you touch phone owners in the U.S.: we have a new version of Bing just for high-resolution touch devices. We optimized for touch navigation to make the most of your phone, and added a great new Movies feature. Search for Movies in your city, and you’ll see the movies playing nearby, showtimes, overviews, and even trailers and video clips.

Find it all at m.bing.com.

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