Microsoft hands technology licenses, collected data to Uber
Uber is significantly bolstering its mapping operations and research, by acquiring technology and staff from Microsoft for an as-yet undisclosed amount. Map-related assets from Bing are being passed on to the app-based taxi firm, reports TechCrunch, with approximately 100 employees also being transferred over as part of the purchase, in yet another navigation-related acquisition from the transport company.
Sprint International Value Roaming includes unlimited free texts, 2G data
Sprint has introduced a new International Value Roaming option that will provide free texts and 2G data to subscribers visiting a list of countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, and Mexico, with calls in the countries priced at $0.20 per minute. Along with the new add-on, which can be included with a number of plans at no extra charge, travelers can acquire International Speed Data Roaming Passes, providing connections at 3G speeds. The three passes consist of 100MB of data at $15 for one day, 200MB at $25 for seven days, and 500MB of data for $50 for two weeks.
Move not indicative of any change in attitude toward Microsoft
Social network behemoth Facebook has removed Microsoft Bing search results from its pages in the last few days. The move, confirmed by Facebook officials, shifts the users' results to its own "Facebook Search" effort to help focus "on helping people find what's been shared with them." The move underscores Facebook's continued competition with Google. In parallel with the Bing excision, Facebook rolled out changes to "Graph Search" to return specific posts to searchers, instead of just results for people.
Google mostly compliant, with exception of notifying publishers of removal
This week has been a busy one for Europe's "right to be forgotten" stricture. Not only have Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing launched the mandated efforts for users, but the European Commission has also issued guidance to the search engines on how to handle requests. The guidance is similar to what Google has implemented, but there may be some issues ahead, as the document published by the commission takes issues to search engines warning site operators when a page with information is delisted, potentially stirring up old issues and bringing more attention to the deleted content.
Companies look to exploit end of Google contract
Yahoo and Microsoft are courting Apple in hopes of becoming the default search provider for the Safari web browser next year, a report says. Apple renewed a mapping and search partnership with Google in 2010, but that contract is set to expire next year, which could give other companies an entry point. Both Yahoo and Microsoft executives are said to have approached Eddy Cue -- Apple's senior VP for Internet Software and Services -- about a potential deal. So far, though, there's no sign that Apple has made a decision, and indeed it could choose to remain with Google.
Next Lock Screen, Journeys and Notes, Torque released from Microsoft Garage
Microsoft is taking the unusual step of trying to court Android users, by releasing three new apps for the platform. The first from Microsoft Garage is the self-explanatory "Next Lock Screen," which provides a handy notifications and app launching interface, the second lets travelers pass notes to others following the same route, while a third allows Android Wear users to search Bing directly from their wrist.
Web gets in-timeline translations
Twitter has expanded its use of Bing translations, reports note. For the first time, the function has been made available in the official Twitter iOS app, where it will display translated text underneath the original. To get the option to appear, though, a person has to select an individual tweet.
Nadella details the importance, contributions of each division to Microsoft
During Recode's Code Conference in California today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company has no plans to sell off the Xbox or Bing divisions of the company to competitors. Xbox has long been a piece of contention for investors in the company, because of the competitive console market and financial losses from the division. Bing, which faces large losses in its own division, is up against larger competitors like Google, but has adapted by integrating into other products.
New version of Windows uses Bing as the default search engine
As previously rumored, Microsoft has released Windows 8.1 with Bing. Aimed primarily at original equipment manufacturers like Dell and other similar companies, the offering brings lower-cost Windows 8.1 to devices with the search engine defaulting to Bing. The end-user can choose a different search engine default, but the OEM is prevented from doing so.
Electronic Arts releases companion app for Titanfall game
Electronic Arts, the game publisher responsible for publishing Titanfall, has released a companion app for the game available for iOS, Windows Phone 8 and Android. Aiming to broaden the game experience, the companion apps offers notifications regarding the latest updates to Titanfall, in addition to personalized game statistics such as total kills, weapon load-outs and more. The app also features a second-screen map, allowing for reviewing teammates' location. The Titanfall companion app can be downloaded through iTunes, Google Play and the Windows Store.
Google Now adds card for car parking reminder in latest update
A new Google Now update will help drivers remember where they parked. Android Police reports the app will detect when the user is traveling by car automatically, bringing up a Parking Location card in Google Now that shows the approximate location of the vehicle after it has stopped. The update also includes a new reminders interface, a centralized list of nicknames, adds voice control to some device settings, and retains recent Google Now cards when in offline mode.
Microsoft rolls out classroom-targeted search engine with controls and zero ads
Microsoft has launched an ad-free search engine for school classroom use, dubbed as "Bing in the Classroom." A specialized search tool, the classroom-designed Bing has no advertisements, and offers strong privacy controls and parental settings to filter out adult content. Bing's ad-free search is available to all eligible K-12 schools for free.
Front and back camera shooting app now available for Android devices
Frontback, a "selfie"-focused photo capturing app originally released for iPhone, is now available for Android users. The app captures two shots: one of the subject with the rear camera, and one of the user's face, a second later, with the front-facing camera (though varying combinations of shots can be paired). The second photo intends to add context much like a caption, and both images can be posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr, as well as Frontback's own newsfeed.
Initiative may seek to increase Bing penetration, grow Windows adoption
According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft is allegedly working on a subsidized version of "Windows 8.1 with Bing." With Microsoft solutions included -- such as the eponymous Bing search engine as default -- Microsoft appears to be readying a free or inexpensive version of Windows, perhaps to combat Apple's offering of OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" for free.
Microsoft offers 100GB OneDrive storage via Bing Rewards scheme
After the success of its 100GB of cloud storage giveaway to 100,000 users as part of the SkyDrive rebrand to OneDrive, Microsoft is offering another way to gain the large block of online storage. The Bing Blog claims users of the Bing Rewards scheme, a program that offers discounts and other incentives for using Bing, will exchange 100 credits for a code, which provides access to the same 100GB allocation for one year, though the promotion will only be offered until June 30th of this year.
Huawei announces TalkBand B1, unlikely to be released in US
Huawei has announced its upcoming wearable tech device, the TalkBand B1. Described as both a fitness band and Bluetooth headset combined, the band has a removable earpiece that accepts calls, and when used in the band tracks physical activities including sleep. Its 90mAh battery can last up to six days powering the flexible OLED display. The TalkBand B1 is not anticipating release in the US, though will be available in Chinese markets next month, and Japan, the Middle East, Russia and Western Europe in the second quarter of 2014.
Bing search engine soon to be profitable, says Microsoft
Microsoft's Bing search engine is will soon begin making money for the software giant, according to the company's chief financial officer for applications and services. ZDNet reported on Saturday that Applications and Services CFO Dave O'Hara had said Bing was ready to turn the corner, as Microsoft now has the resources to keep its search engine running without having to continue to make outsized investments in it. Future infrastructure investments for Bing, O'Hara said, will be incremental.
Microsoft updates Bing app for iPad
Microsoft has released an update to its Bing app for iPad that contains a number of tweaks and improvements to the search app. The update, bringing Bing for iPad to version 2.0, introduces a cleaner, simpler user interface to match Apple's "flatter" iOS 7 aesthetic. It also includes the ability to save Bing's colorful daily images for use as a wallpaper on one's device.
Elop would shift Office tactics as MS CEO
Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, if named as the next Microsoft CEO, would reportedly consider spinning off the company's Xbox and Bing divisions. A report from Bloomberg cites sources familiar with Elop's thinking in claiming that he would strike out in a direction quite different from that of outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer. Under Elop, the report holds, Microsoft would refocus on its popular Office suite, but with the aim of pushing Office onto as many platforms as possible.
Microsoft adds 5M square miles of images to Bing Maps
Microsoft has updated Bing Maps to include another 13 million square kilometers (5 million square miles) of satellite imagery. The update, consisting of aircraft and satellite aerial imagery according to The Next Web, is spread over the majority of the world, including areas of Iceland, France, Brazil, England, Chile, Fiji, and China, with the added photographs totaling almost 316 terabytes of data.
Amazon signs deal with CBS, Star Trek reaches Lovefilm in UK, Germany
Amazon has signed a multi-year deal with CBS Studios to stream shows from CBS and Showtime on Lovefilm in the UK and Germany. Subscribers of the streaming service will have access to episodes of Californication, Dexter, Nurse Jackie, and both the 1960s original Star Trek and Star Trek Voyager from today, with other shows heading to it in the future.
Experiment will provide curated links, videos, images to specific searches
Microsoft has added curated content to its Bing search engine, in the form of Bing Boards. The experimental item is a visual collection of images, videos, and links that are organized by users about a specific topic, rather than being created algorithmically, and are designed to be complementary to normal search results.
Search engine gets tie-in with popular sharing service
Users of Microsoft's Bing will now have access features integrating the search engine with popular image-sharing service Pinterest. Microsoft tipped the new feature in a post to the Bing Search Blog last week, noting that the ability to share to Pinterest flowed out of previous meetings the company had had with lifestyle and design bloggers at Bing headquarters last fall.
Bing apps for Office 2013 extend functionality through the web
Microsoft has launched five Bing apps for the just-released Office 2013. Each of the new apps integrates tightly with Office in order to add a range of useful functions to each of Microsoft’s core Office apps. The new Bing apps for Office includes Image Search, Finance, Maps, Dictionary, and News with each leveraging Bing’s search capabilities.
Partnership with Microsoft expands
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has blasted Google over privacy concerns, claiming the search giant would not agree to certain terms demanded by the social network for its new search tools. Facebook also has dodged questions surrounding the backbone of its new Search Graph feature, however Zuckerberg explained that Microsoft will remain a close partner for web search via Bing integration.
Social questions now answered in Bing sidebar
Microsoft will be adding information from social questioning site Quora into the results for its Bing search engine. The new addition was announced today in a post from the Bing Team. The addition of Quora marks another step in Microsoft's continuing effort to grow market share for its search engine, which so remains in the shadow of market leader Google.
Mark Penn now heading up strategic and special projects
Microsoft has brought on Mark Penn, former manager of Senator Hillary Clinton's ill-fated 2008 Democratic primary campaign, to head up strategic and special projects at the company. The pollster, who was the worldwide CEO of public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and CEO of polling firm Penn Schoen Berland, will now focus on consumer initiatives. Bloomberg carried news today of the appointment, which is likely aimed at ensuring that the Redmond-based software giant is able to maintain an attachment to the common consumer mindset as it prepares to launch a number of important software and hardware products.
Microsoft adds Nokia map enhancements to Bing maps
Following last year's Microsoft partnership with Nokia, Bing Maps is the latest product to see a benefit. Starting today, users in 24 countries will be able to view active traffic data in Bing Maps as a result of Nokia services integration. United States traffic coverage will include side street traffic as well as freeway information. Behind the scenes, Nokia's geocoding services are now being used to offer improved turn-by-turn directions.
Makeover yields minimalist results page
Microsoft has rolled out a redesign of the search results page for its Bing search engine. Users will now find a less-cluttered results page, bordering on minimalist and dominated by open space.
Microsoft said to have offered Bing to Facebook
A new report from the New York Times delving deeper into the Facebook buy of patents from Microsoft reveals that Microsoft at one point considered selling its Bing search engine to the social network. There is speculation in the industry that Facebook wants to start its own Internet search engine fed by the data it gathered from its millions of users in order to make money from online advertising. This would be a threat to Google more so than Microsoft, as the former is more dependent on such revenue.
Microsoft bounces back in fiscal Q3 2012
Microsoft saw its Windows unit partly return to form on Thursday as it once again reported gains. Following Windows division losses in the fall, the group has seen its revenue go up four percent to just over $4.6 billion. The segment succeeded mostly on the back of business desktops and infrastructure, Microsoft said, suggesting that home users and pro notebooks were still struggling.
Bing may become expensive for outsiders to use
Microsoft warned Thursday that it would start asking a monthly fee for using its Bing Search app programming interface (API). Apps and devices that use the official code will have to pay a minimum $40 per month for 20,000 searches. Those who need Bing will use the Azure Marketplace Microsoft uses for its cloud services to manage what they're paying.
Kindle Touch offers Bing powered translations
Amazon has a hefty update available for the Kindle Touch. The upgrade to 5.1, released today, enables switching from portrait to landscape orientation and Bing powered language translation of highlighted text.
Yahoo shakes up staff in mass departures
Yahoo confirmed rumors of large-scale layoffs by dropping 2,000 workers. Focusing mostly on the product division, the exits would include some immediate layoffs as well as gradual transitions away. The positions were being dropped to return to a "core purpose" of "users and advertisers," CEO Scott Thompson said.
European Commission pushes back Google date
The European Commissioner's competition head Joaquin Alumnia on Wednesday postponed a decision on possible antitrust charges versus Google. He pushed back from a promise of late March or early April until after April 8, or after Easter. Investigators had asked for "some more days, even weeks" to accommodate the holidays while still conducting a proper investigation.
Microsoft fuels OpenStreetMap data
Some extra sleuthing has confirmed that OpenStreetMap is getting more support from major companies than Apple. Microsoft not only hired OpenStreetMap's founder Steve Coast as its main designer for Bing Mobile but has been in a two-way supply of content deal. Bing provides some map data for the project but also draws on OpenStreetMap to fill out its map content.
FTC wants to know how iOS search favors Google
The FTC's widening antitrust investigation of Google is now collecting information from Apple, insiders tipped on mid-Tuesday. A pair of Bloomberg sources understood the US agency to be subpoenaing Apple for the deals making Google the default search engine on iOS devices. It's presumed, though not certain, that concerns may exist Google is unfairly using its search dominance to cut out Microsoft's Bing and others from getting the pre-selected position.
SDK makes it embed metro mapping code for apps
Microsoft gets antitrust attorney as own staffer
Microsoft on Wednesday hoped to turn Google's FTC troubles against it by hiring one of the FTC's senior lawyers, Randall Long, on Wednesday. The former deputy assistant lead for the Competition Bureau will manage Microsoft's regulatory relations. He will take the new position in late March and should be based out of Washington, DC.
Foursquare customizes OpenStreetMap
New color palette separates map from overlays
Designers with Bing Maps and Nokia Maps have coordinated with the Windows Phone team to bring a unified look to maps across both services, now available on the desktop and mobile version of Bing and Nokia maps. The goal was to update the color palette to better distinguish roads from rivers while keeping overlaid information, such as traffic, distinct. The redesign extends to collaboration across services on fonts, labelling and readability.
Apple hits symbolic stock value
An exceptional run on Apple stock over the past few days has made Apple's stock value worth more than either of its two most direct rivals combined. A comparison has shown that, as of mid-day Thursday, Apple's market cap of about $456 billion was greater than both those of Google ($198.9 billion) and Microsoft ($256.7 billion). As noted by AppleInsider, Apple was taking advantage of both Google missing targets and bruising its share as well as Microsoft's historic inability to excite shareholders.
Microsoft full-page ad tackles Google policy swap
Microsoft has started running a slew of full-page newspaper ads in an attempt to scare users over Google's simpler privacy policies. It claims that Google's attempts to simplify and clarify its policies are disingenuous and that the real goal is to "connect the dots" between Google's services and track users. It goes on to insist that the policy makes it difficult to back out.
Nokia brand will show up on competitors' devices
The Nokia brand will begin showing up on non-Nokia devices running Microsoft's Bing Maps app. CEO Stephen Elop revealed in a recent
conversation with Pocket-lint that Microsoft had agreed to the cross-promotion as part of its Windows Phone deal. The news means that the Nokia brand will begin appearing on competing products such as BlackBerrys and Android phones.
EU may start formal Google dispute in two months
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia in a discussion late Tuesday raised the possibility that a formal antitrust dispute with Google could start in late March. He informed Reuters that comments from investigators would come in near the end of the quarter, which ends that month, and that he didn't "expect anything sooner" for a full complaint. Leaks had tipped an early 2012 filing, if it went ahead at all, but hadn't been corroborated directly until now.
Yahoo loses Yang as new CEO takes over
(Update: more to come?) Yahoo on Tuesday said that its co-founder Jerry Yang was leaving the company. He had immediately resigned both from the Board of Directors and "all other positions" at the search giant, including a board spot at Alibaba. He sought to "pursue other interests" beyond the company but cast it as an amicable leap, putting his confidence in new CEO Scott Thompson.
World IPv6 Day to launch standard is June 6
The IPv6 Internet addressing standard will get a more formal launch by its backers on June 6, which is being devoted World IPv6 Day. Seven global ISPs will back the new standard then, including AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner. Also onboard are heavily trafficked websites, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft's Bing, as well as hardware makers Cisco and D-Link.
Yahoo settles on permanent CEO from eBay division
Yahoo confirmed rumors Wednesday and picked PayPal president Scott Thompson as its new CEO. The nomination of the eBay division head followed months of uncertainty at the company following the firing of Carol Bartz in September. Thompson takes the position January 9.
Google to pay $300m per year in Mozilla deal
When Google and Mozilla renewed their search royalty deal earlier this week, they didn't reveal that Google will pay $300 million per year, AllThingsD learned. For this amount of money, Google will be the default search engine in Mozilla's Firefox browser. The numbers are a sharp increase from the previous arrangement because of the new competition from Yahoo and Microsoft.
Google funds Mozilla with three-year ad deal
Google kept Firefox active after Mozilla said that it was renewing a deal to make Google the default search in Firefox. A "significant and mutually beneficial" deal will keep Google as the default for a minimum of three years. Neither side would reveal what the terms of the deal were.