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All posts tagged Bing

Microsoft Is Pounding Out New Stuff And Bing Is No Exception

Just before the weekend Bing released a beta of their new Knowledge Widget, an add-on for websites and blogs that when added will display indexed, relevant keywords and display results in a sidebar.

Big bing logo

The widget is Javascript, configurable and once the webmaster chooses the style and layout, the code can be added to the post / site.

The user can click on an underlined keyword or click on the sidebar to see images related to those keywords. Hitting the keyword opens the Knowledge Widget and displays Bing results of relevance to the keyword(s).

At the same time Bing has released App Linking to ensure that discovery of your site and content includes ranking for your app. This feature can be implemented to deep link from content within your website to targets within the app.

How To Add It?

Bing posted a full how-to article including configurable Javascript to copy and add to your content.

Follow the link on the page to select the settings you want on the page, modify the Javascript accordingly and the page also includes deeper explanation of manual configuration options like CSS.

Bing Knowledge Widget Javascript Default

 

 

 

…Here is the default javascript.

I recommend reading through and customizing this to suit your own page layout.

Bing Knowledge Widget Config

The Warptest POV

As I mentioned in an earlier article, the new format of Bing’s results leverages discovery of valuable, relevant content… not just a list of blue links.

Here is a series of screen-grabs from my previous post after I added the widget:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Bing Knowledge Widget is a lightweight add-on for your blog that has the added value of keeping your visitors onsite but at the same time allowing them to discover external content that relates to your post(s). Bing have made sure that it’s easy to configure and setup on your website. The UI is compliant with Bing and the features are easy to use. So far results I’ve looked at are relevant and I’ve seen no false positives.

In a nutshell, I’m giving Bing a big Warptest thumbs-up for their new Knowledge Widget and even though it is in beta I recommend testing it out.

So, let me know when you have added the Knowledge Widget to your blog or website and I’ll check it out.

Job Hunting Can Require Some Creative Thinking…

… If you decide to forego the shotgun approach of blindly applying for jobs then a targeted approach may need actionable intelligence.

targetted job hunting - crosshairs

You’ve decided what fields / job positions / titles you are searching for and you have defined the geographical catchment area probably based on just how much you are able or willing to commute but some companies decide to make it difficult for you and conceal their address on the job application or even on their website.

What do you do?

Many of us try the following checklist: –

job hunting - checklist address search

This approach is laborious and since most of the searchable information is garnered from the company itself, if they have opted to leave their local address off the website you will probably strike out.

At this point do you apply anyway or just keep job hunting? Has this compromised your targeted approach?

The Warptest POV

Recently I was contacted by a friend with a list of several companies like this and asked if I had any idea how to find their location.

I started suggesting similar steps listed above but then the word “location” gave me an idea… Foursquare

As Foursquare is possibly the largest locational database of retail and commercial locations it’s reasonable to try searching here first when job hunting:

Foursquare - job hunting

After testing this I confirmed that the popularity and gamification behind Foursquare encouraged company employees to check-in at each of these companies. Getting the addresses via Foursquare was a piece of cake.

So if you are searching for company addresses whilst job hunting then Foursquare should be your first stop.

Disclaimer: companies have many different reasons for opting out of posting their address online. Act responsibly and respect that. Use the information you discover but you don’t need to spread it far and wide.

Good (job) hunting!

Bing Announced A New Logo Today…

… Amongst other things. The logo is part of an overall evolution of the brand. You can read what Microsoft had to say about the logo redesign here.

Ubiquitous… Almost

… Bing like many other Microsoft products catches a lot of flak and I’m going to say it. It’s unjust and mostly the usual Microsoft trolls. Bing right now is the go-to search / discovery enabler for Yahoo and Siri. Yes that’s right, pick your jaw up from the ground, Siri has made Bing its default search engine.

Understandably with Microsoft’s investment in Facebook there was a strong connection between Bing and Facebook also.

You Are Missing The Point

Bing has never been about being just a search engine. It is an enabling technology for discovery. Search provides results but discovery
delivers relevant and useful content.

Bing is an organic part of Windows Phone including voice and visual translation; has Apps for iOS and Android , Bing is used in Windows 8 / Windows Phone Apps and in a variety of Apps for Bing Maps: –

In addition the Bing API allows developers to build their own solutions integrating the service. The service is transitioning to the Windows Azure Marketplace.

Those who believe the announcement today is simply a new look and logo are very much mistaken.

The Warptest POV

It’s plain if you take the time to look that Bing is going to deliver contextually relevant, useful and usable content off the web. A lot of thought has gone into how to deliver this content in an incredible UX.

One of the examples given in the official Bing blog post is results about people. Bing already incorporated Social content (access to the person’s Facebook or Twitter feed and Klout score) but now the content delivered is a holistic/aggregated profile and not just a series of links with images/videos slapped in a sidebar.

The New Bing People Search via Bing blog.

Bing promises more evolution with news of development of a cross-device AI/Avatar named for HALO AI, Cortana according to Mary Jo Foley on ZDNet this week.

If this is true then firstly I am glad someone at Microsoft reads my blog.

I discussed this concept in October 2011 “An Ode to Ms Dewey…” where I suggest Ms Dewey (a marketing simulation for Live Search) become a Search enabled Personal Assistant App.

Whether we get to see Cortana soon or not, the new evolution of Bing delivers on an incredible search/discovery experience.

Will you be taking it for a spin?

My Windows Phone 8…

It arrived a bit over a week ago. I’d upgraded from my HTC Titan Windows Phone 7 to the HTC 8x Windows Phone 8. Why?

  • The price was right. I had promised myself when the price dropped below £200 it would be mine.
  • It was time to take a long hard look at the differences between 7 and 8.
  • I had opened a Windows Phone Developers Account and I wanted to see how easy/hard it was to build Apps for both.
  • Relevance.

That said, I knew that the moment the phone arrived HTC would announce a new phone and lo and behold the rumors broke that they are.

One Week In…

The upgrade and migration has to be one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. probably easier than upgrading a PC. Thanks to @MicrosoftHelps on Twitter for all advice and assistance.

I can honestly say that HTC got a lot right with the 8x. The lines of the phone, the Gorilla Glass screen with the raised edges and the curvature of the back make for a phone that sits well in your hand.

The battery life is somewhat better than the Titan, even with GPS / Glonass activating for a variety of location enabled apps I installed.

The screen is a crisp, colorful joy to use and the phone itself is incredibly responsive.

Windows Phone 8 OS works well and the added bells and whistles make for a richer experience, including the functional lockscreen and incredible sound.

What didn’t I like?

I have hands that are possibly not those that smartphone touchscreen designers had in mind. My fingers are broad and I definitely do not have fingertips one could describe as slender.

I’ve tried touch on iPhones, Symbians, Androids and Windows Phones and one of the reasons the Titan worked for me was that its screen was marginally bigger so my fingers had more space.

With the HTC 8X the screen is 4.3″ and I am relearning how to use a touchscreen to type.

The raised screen with curved edges is beautiful but there is a niggling concern that you need to be a bit more careful with how you treat the phone.

Accessories: I made the mistake of assuming that if I could buy a phone from Cellular companies here I could purchase a good case and or screen protector. The Cellular companies have made zero effort to have any accessories for the phone and are totally unapologetic. I went on Amazon and ordered the best case I could find.

Apps

At the end of the day Smartphones live or die based on which Apps are available for them. Windows Phone 8 has come of age and so far I have installed: –

And of course preinstalled

This is me getting started.

Right now I have a great mix of Social, Location, Productivity, Fun, Photo / Video and more. Most of the big Apps on other platforms are represented here but my favorite right now are probably: –

Track My Life – this App has a seductive UI and the App analyzes and displays your daily habits in a geographical manner that will give you pause for thought.

Bing Finance, News and Weather – simply because they are direct parallels to their doppelgangers on Windows 8. These show the Windows 8 ecosystem in all its glory.

Blink – Microsoft FUSE Research Labs and their So.cl gave us an App that captures everything with burst photography and then can create Blink animated shorts.

The Warptest POV

I do miss my HTC Titan (and its bigger screen) but the added value I get from the sleeker, faster Windows Phone 8 on the HTC 8x and the added apps make this a great phone.

I still have features to test and more apps to find but this is a great phone that shows why Windows Phone is a respectable choice and that HTC when they get their game on can do great things.

My advice to HTC is this, “You don’t need to burn revenue on big, splashy ads with Robert Downey jr. however wacky and memorable they are” play to your strengths and make quality phones like this or the incredible HTC One.

Even put a new Windows Phone 8 in the One chassis but start competing guys. Where is an HTC Windows Phablet? Where is a competitor for the Lumia 1020? This is a game of speed and daring so get in the game HTC.

Are you considering a Windows Phone? The HTC 8x is a great option that I give a strong recommend to.

windows8.1 preview

Windows 8.1 Has Landed…

At least the preview version for now. Everything I’ve seen second hand leads me to believe that Microsoft have improved on the excellent Windows 8 tenfold.

So for now, I’ve garnished screenshots, reviews and videos online to get an idea of what Windows 8.1 delivers.

The Delivery

Windows 8.1 delivers a preview of what we can expect. If precedent is anything to go by we will still see some changes in the Release version. That said Windows 8.1 is expected to be available via the Store to download as an update to the existing OS; if you have Windows 8/RT you should be able to get this free.

So what else?

  • Start button: this is not the classical Start Button of Windows days of old but delivers a solution to those who simply couldn’t get their head around the missing button.
  • An improved, better Store
  • In store / In App monetization improvements. I’ve stated in a post on Windows Phone that a big key to success or failure is enticing developers to invest in the OS and the same is true here.
  • Single search: results from the web, on the PC and Apps
  • More popular Apps delivered or in the pipeline e.g. improved Twitter and an official Facebook App is coming
  • New Bing (based) Apps: with the announcement that Bing is a platform, APIs and all come new Apps e.g. Bing Food & Drink, Bing Health & Fitness and updated Bing Maps. Hit the link and read about how Food & Drink is designed for kitchen use and looks to be an outstanding, killer app.

 

  • Internet Explorer 11 preview: given the incredible experience using IE10 I’m excited to see how Microsoft have improved on an already great UX
  • Support for multiple device sizes, types and resolutions
  • Support for 3D Printing: having built in support for 3D Printing is a huge inroad into one of the hottest technologies. Plug and play drivers makes this accessible to everyone and means that if you 3D Print Windows 8.1 is your OS of choice out of the box! (Microsoft may have just stolen the whole marketshare on Personal Computer to 3D Printing with this.)
  • All this and more.

H8ters

I started using this word recently to refer to those online whose overwhelming dislike for Microsoft and especially Windows 8 is so pervasive that they just can’t help themselves. Case in point today many self-proclaimed “pro” tech bloggers who are clearly H8ters had such little integrity or self-restraint that they began slamming Windows 8.1 before they had even seen it.

In an age of multi-boot PCs, tablets that run Android and Windows and Macs that can run Windows as a VM the consumer no longer has to pick one platform and commit whole-heartedly to it. This may be the biggest progress we have seen in the personal computing arena in the last few years and it makes redundant the simplistic and frankly immature OS Trolling we have come to expect from certain quarters.

“Hi I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” is dead.

Today the mantra is “Hi I’m a Mac and a PC too” or “Hi I’m an Android and a PC too”

With thanks to Youtube user Lukepuuk

The Warptest POV

Microsoft have evolved and put the age of Vista behind them. Redmond has learnt from past experiences and if Windows 8.1 and Xbox One show us nothing else, it’s that they are capable of responding to constructive consumer criticism and improving products and limitations to answer those needs. This behavior could herald a golden age of Redmond Renaissance.

The H8ters aren’t going to change their tune but hopefully the consumers who were fearful of making the leap to Windows 8 as the countdown on Windows XP ticks away will feel more confident and join the Windows 8 revolution.

My advice to consumers is don’t rely on the H8ters but get out to the stores and go hands-on for yourself, especially on the touch enabled devices. Most of these are still going to be Windows 8 but Windows 8.1 is coming. So are you ready and willing?