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Microsoft® Bing and Encyclopedia Britannica Partner to Offer Perfect Search Results

With the idea to promote learning and knowledge, Microsoft has announced a partnership with Encyclopedia Britannica to incorporate Britannica Online answers on the search results pages of Bing. This affiliation between global educational publisher ‘Encyclopedia Britannica’ and software giant ‘Microsoft’ will provide users a snippet of relevant and trustworthy information against their keywords and questions, without visiting the actual webpage.

How it will work?

As soon as the users will type their keyword, they will get an instant synopsis of the subject, handy facts and figures along with a thumbnail image, making it a lot simpler than ever to find trusted content for a specific search. In addition to this, it will provide direct links to various other trustworthy sources.

“We’re very excited to collaborate with Encyclopedia Britannica as it continues to strengthen its online presence, and hope you find these new answers valuable and helpful in your search for information,” Bing’s Franco Salvetti said.

Microsoft® Kinect-powered Internet browser coming to XBOX® 360

You could be surfing the Internet using voice and gesture controls on your XBOX 360 gaming console in the very near future. It is being rumored that the software giant Microsoft Corporation is working on a Kinect-enabled Internet browser for the XBOX 360 gaming console. The browser is reported to include Bing voice search, however, it will be limited to media results only.

How it will benefit Microsoft?

Bringing Internet Explorer 9 to the XBOX 360 would help boost Microsoft’s browser market share — which has been rising slowly but steadily in recent months. This move will of course drag Bing along with it as the default search engine. If there is not extra fee charged along with the great voice and Kinect integration, then both the browser and search engine stand the chance to be great hits.

In the beginning of May month, Microsoft offered an interesting deal for XBOX 360. As per the deal, Microsoft will be offering a 4GB XBOX 360 Kinect bundle for a mere US $99 to U.S. buyers. But there is a catch to this offer. The user has to sign a two-year contract to XBOX Live Gold membership. The user will have to pay US $14.99 per month for XBOX Live Gold. The total cost for two years of XBOX Live Gold at that rate is US $359.76, bringing the total price tag up to US $458 before taxes.

If you are interested in this deal, get the deal from here and print it out. You will have to redeem it at a Microsoft Store.

Image by: dekuwa via Flickr (CC)

Nokia® and Microsoft® join forces

Microsoft and Nokia have declared that they will forge a long-term strategic alliance in order to challenge their competitors in the mobile devices industry. At a news conference, President and CEO of Nokia, Mr. Stephen Elop, and Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, discussed their high level new strategy.

The alliance will be much deeper and more integrated than had it been with Android and Google. According to analysts, Microsoft’s strength will compliment Nokia’s weaknesses and Nokia’s strength will compliment Microsoft’s weaknesses. They will keep their options open if in any circumstance this plan does not materialize. They will jointly make it possible to increase the market share of their smart phones and mobile operating systems.

Nokia will offer great products, application store, maps, and assets of location to this alliance. On the other hand, Microsoft will offer Windows Phone 7 and the mobile brands which consumer desire, similar to Xbox Live, Bing and Office. Nokia will use Windows Phone 7 as their primary smart phone strategy. They will extend price points, geographies and market segments. They think this will be better for Nokia. It will give them scope to concentrate in their investments where they can differentiate best. It will give them a quicker path for the US market and it will give them a wide opportunity for taking advantage of their assets which are location based.

Researchers: Google™, Yahoo!® Search Results Favor Their Own Services

Two Harvard professors claim that their researches on search and search results on Google and Yahoo! search engines return biased results favoring the two search engines. It has been seen that a search on Google returns Gmail, YouTube, etc., which is exactly the kind of algorithms they follow. So much for their claims of using other websites, they return three times more results pertaining to their own sites than would other search engines. The two Harvard professors further stated that in the case of Yahoo!, the search engines interests were more served than that of the users. You could well say that Google seems to be backing away from keeping its word on their search engine results not being biased. Their top results are found to be biased to their own websites.

So does Google favor its own websites? Is it true to say this? The EU is conducting a thorough study on this aspect and to answer these questions. Meanwhile, it is not entirely wrong to say that Google and other such search engines do prefer to project their websites on search engine results. According to an anti-trust campaign by a UK-based company accusing Google of bringing search results of their own websites as top results, this is true  when in-spite of algorithms being used to fetch search results. Google’s hard-coding and other biased methods of beating the algorithms in the search, brings in their own websites to feature on top. In directing users to their own websites, a major portion of offerings is taken up be it the health sector, or finance or maps or otherwise.

The European Union’s anti-trust committee looked into the alleged activity of Google demoting rival search results. Google’s arguments that it is difficult to behave as a monopoly over the web and that the Internet does not allow for powerful players to get listed first. While many such allegations have been made over the period, Google steadfastly maintains that its use of algorithms demotes sites with less useful content.

What does this mean to searcher and the marketer? Bing makes the search results look more like Google’s results for paid searches. This does not mean that results are never based on merits. Google, Yahoo!, Ask or Bing’s method would not work if searchers do not click on these results. Or if the searchers start doubting the honesty in the searches then these would be done for. However, this does not only affect large businesses. It affects small businesses too. A search for heart diseases on Bing and Yahoo! bring in results of a clinic and treatment in a certain part of the world with descriptions of the diseases. There is no mention of a Mayo clinic in the search. A survey conducted by Ben Edelman from Harvard, an assistant professor at Harvard, noted that 15% of the times, the Google search engine places its results over those of the others. He also notes that this has reduced considerably over the past years to a small percentage.

Bing™ now taps user location, history for relevance

Bing is a search engine that was launched by Microsoft with some additional features. The basic functionalities of Bing have been kept the same. Bing has a variety of specialized search options.

On 11th February of 2011, Microsoft announced that Bing has been incorporated with software that makes use of user location to know a little more about the location of the user. This new feature in Bing has revolutionised the way search results are given. This further encompasses that if a user searches for a house then Bing will take upon itself to locate houses at nearby areas from where the search is being made and present a list of houses that fall under the category. Although the same location feature was added by Google last year but Bing has surged ahead in the localized feature by arranging information in categories. This has made it easier for users to enter their requirements in the search engine and getting information that is localized from where the search has been requested.

If the user clicks and chooses a result from lower down a list of search results then Bing will put the selected result at the top in case the same inquiries get repeated next time. Bing officials have clarified the incorporation of this particular feature by saying that it has been found to be a common trend followed by most users that when they repeat their inquiry for a particular topic they do so by searching with the same name. Research done by the team members of Bing before the launch of the search engine showed that users commonly reuse the search queries every time they are looking to acquire certain information and this trend rarely changes. Bing has been customized keeping in mind this feature of human nature. When a user input’s data and the user is trying to re-find or revisit a past accessed site, Bing displays the relevant data at the top of the site.

Both the current features that is localisation and site search have been offered to users in United States only presently. Microsoft is carrying out further research before launching the feature in other parts of the world. The biggest competition is Google that is well established and much more popular than Bing. Although launched with some very innovative features, Bing still needs to get marketed and made popular before capturing the market.

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Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003