Bing: Microsoft's answer to Google Now and Apple's Siri

Google Now and Siri are impressive products. Arguably Siri is a little bit more obnoxious than useful, but let’s not discount the technological miracle that it is, just based on its snarky tone. But where is Microsoft’s answer to these awesome advances in computing?

Some have argued that TellMe, the service found on Windows Phone and a few other Microsoft products is the company’s way forward. But TellMe has been replaced by Bing, and Bing itself is evolving to become Microsoft’s secret weapon.

In an interview with PCWorld, Stefan Weitz, director of Bing Search explained how the company is positioning itself to offer both Apple and Google a run for their money when it comes to personal digital assistance.

Weitz explained something we’ve all been seeing: that Bing has evolved from a “simple” search engine to Microsoft’s backbone when it comes to big data. And behind the public face of Bing lies the Satori engine. This is where the company compiles all the data that it gathers through its services and partners. The company’s stated goal is to make Satori into “the world’s largest repository of knowledge”.

Where does Satori get its data from? Well you might not know it but every time you use Foursquare, Linkedin, Facebook, or any other of Microsoft’s partners’ services, not to mention the company’s services like Bing, Skydrive and Office, Microsoft gets to collect a little bit of data about you. And it’s this vast array of data from partner networks that Microsoft hopes will give them an edge above Siri and Google Now.

So how does all of this turn up in the real world?  Weitz says that this program will be properly rolled out in the next couple of years but we’re already seeing glimpses of it: in Windows Phone with Local Scout, voice commands and so on, in Windows 8.1 with the expanded search capabilities, in Office where you can use live data from Bing, on the Xbox and the Xbox Store, for example.

While right now these may seem like modest enhancements, the search and assistive capabilities of Bing will reach maturity soon enough. And then, there’ll be a pervasive sub-service, across all of Microsoft’s other services, that will know you personally and will always be ready to help you with information in whatever context you need. Or at least, that’s Microsoft’s hope.

We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out over time and if Microsoft will actually be capable of bringing a cohesive service to its users without privacy issues and up to par with the competition. Right now it looks like a very tough challenge, but if it’s one thing we’ve learned about Microsoft in the last two years, it’s that they’re not afraid to take chances.

Source: PCWorld | Xbox Bing image via ForeverGeek

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Google is my daily driver also but it's getting increasingly useless for many searches, too many have learned how to game the system. I find myself using BING more and more.

dvb2000 said,
Sorry, much as I like bing's daily homepage photos, it never produces the search results for me, like google does.

personally I have always used google until recently that I set my default search to bing. search results in bing is nearly as good as google, but additionally I get points for each search (same concept in credit cards) and I redeem it for many things such as Starbucks gift card. or skype credits.

I just feel that Bing is just copying all that Google does and despite what everyone says on this site and I'll get hated on. I hate Bing.
It doesn't help me find what I need as fast as Google would. And I get so frustrated when I have to use it on WP.
I'd only agree that Bing Images is much better.
Just look at the third picture for e.g. that's what google did before - showing information about the link on the right

In any case, only time will tell if it will be better or not but up till now.. nah.

I'm the exact opposite. I find Bing searches for be very ok, especially on Windows Phone. But when it comes to media ( images, video, whatever) Bing just doesn't cut it.

You can change the default search provider on WP to Google. Alternatively 'UC Browser' is a great alternative to IE on WP, I use it exclusively now.

Uhm, Google has been copying Bing actually.

But I agree, their results are horrible. But change your country to US and it gets better. But then I miss my local searches.

Shadowzz said,
Uhm, Google has been copying Bing actually.

Yeah lets see this source... a... aha.... AHA.... AHAHAHAHAHHAHA!

Kalint said,

Yeah lets see this source... a... aha.... AHA.... AHAHAHAHAHHAHA!


Google's image search was revamped AFTER Bing Images. Featuring pretty much the exact same features Bing had.
Google maps worked differently, the practices how it loaded the maps was chunk based and if you zoomed in everything went grey waiting to load for imagery.
Bing Maps implements smooth zooming and a week or 2 later, Google maps suddenly had this.
Bing implements an actual image search (searching with an image) and later, Google implements this like its totally new.
Google's search page was bloated (although not compared to any other search engine years ago). Bing gets a very empty and clean design, and later Google changes the design and now almost looks identical to Bing's search results page. Bing got flamed for stealing Google's design, but no one cares that Google in return stole Bings design.

And there's probably quite a few things more.

Don't need sources if you would just look at Google.com and Bing.com yourself every now and then.

Shadowzz said,

Google's image search was revamped AFTER Bing Images. Featuring pretty much the exact same features Bing had.
Google maps worked differently, the practices how it loaded the maps was chunk based and if you zoomed in everything went grey waiting to load for imagery.
Bing Maps implements smooth zooming and a week or 2 later, Google maps suddenly had this.
Bing implements an actual image search (searching with an image) and later, Google implements this like its totally new.
Google's search page was bloated (although not compared to any other search engine years ago). Bing gets a very empty and clean design, and later Google changes the design and now almost looks identical to Bing's search results page. Bing got flamed for stealing Google's design, but no one cares that Google in return stole Bings design.

And there's probably quite a few things more.

Don't need sources if you would just look at Google.com and Bing.com yourself every now and then.

Thats what I thought, a... aha.... AHA.... AHAHAHAHAHHAHA!

"Where does Satori get its data from? Well you might not know it but every time you use Foursquare, Linkedin, Facebook, or any other of Microsoft's partners' services, not to mention the company's services like Bing, Skydrive and Office, Microsoft gets to collect a little bit of data about you. And it's this vast array of data from partner networks that Microsoft hopes will give them an edge above Siri and Google Now."

I just got scroogled.

Doesn't Siri now give you web results from Bing? Either way, a large part of Apples cloud service is running on Windows Azure last I heard.

It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft's implementation of this works. Google Now is extremely helpful, and it provides a great wealth of information. It seems all Microsoft does these days in the mobile field is play catch up. Come on Microsoft, I want to see WP8 succeed.

I'd use it if I had a WP, but I don't. I would also use my Outlook account more as well. Just GMAIL/GNOW is fine for me since I am using an Android device.

A simple microphone next to the search box on the tablet is not too much to ask for in the interim. It's always coming with MS, it was nice to see SkyDrive finally become what it was supposed to be, now they need to hurry up and deliver on some other goodies.

bing was launched in mid 2009. siri was launched in late 2011. so its an answer even before the question existed. wow. but i guess neowinian fanboys has the privilege to label it whatever they want. lol.

Or maybe, just maybe, Bing gets updated with substantial improvements... while Siri pretty much stays the same (except for updated marketing).

Nas said,
Or maybe, just maybe, Bing gets updated with substantial improvements... while Siri pretty much stays the same (except for updated marketing).

totally agree. after much copying i'm sure. as usual.

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