Microsoft is already promoting how Bing Smart Search has been put into Windows 8.1 in a new TV commercial. Today, the company is revealing more information on how the Bing and Windows teams worked together to add integrated search inside Microsoft's next OS update.
In a blog post, Microsoft's Kieran Snyder, a member of the Bing User Experience team, said that the collaboration actually began when both teams worked on the Bing search app that was released with Windows 8 in 2012. For Windows 8.1 Snyder states, "both the Windows and Bing engineering teams knew that we wanted to go all in on search – together."
In fact, Bing created a new internal team in the division just to work on Smart Search and Snyder claims that nearly 1,000 people worked on the feature in some way. He adds that every Friday morning for the past 15 months, "... every User Interface PM and designer on the project has gotten together for two hours" to collaborate."
In terms of getting Bing Smart Search to work inside Windows 8.1, Snyder says, "It took us many rounds of iteration to make sure the Smart Search experience exactly preserved web search expectations, but didn’t compromise the efficiency of quick commanding in Windows." He also talks about what Microsoft calls "search heroes", which use the company's Satori database of billions of information points. Search heroes are what Snyder calls "mini-apps that Windows creates on the fly".
He uses an example of searching for music inside Windows 8.1 to showcase how search heroes work. Snyder says:
With Bing, Windows, and the Xbox team working together, we can present a big, beautiful answer that puts the most relevant information and actions front and center. We are able to include immediate music playback of all the most popular songs in the Xbox Music catalog, serve up music videos, launch apps that can help you go deeper and get more done, and surface other information that is easily accessible with a swipe of your finger.
Bing Smart Search also allows for Microsoft to put in new search updates every time someone opens Windows 8.1 through the company's new update pipeline and flighting service, as opposed to waiting for a standard software update. Snyder claims this new process is Microsoft's "largest-scale investment in server-side development for Windows."
Source: Microsoft | Images via Microsoft