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All posts tagged Discovery

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?

Steve Ballmer onscreen at Discovery 2012

Microsoft Discovery showed yesterday …

..why the company haven’t lost a step and mojo well it’s not in short supply.

Israel hosted the first outside the US launch event for Windows 8 and related devices with the added bonus of Microsoft Israel’s Thinknext 2012 Special Edition later in the day. Both with guest Steve Ballmer.

As you will see from my previous post, Ballmer played a pivotal role in the launch to a crowd of 5000+ Israeli technologists, entrepreneurs, Start Ups and Vendors. It’s easy to buy into the Trolls on the blogosphere that Microsoft is a down and out company unable to keep up with others in the technology market but the energy level of the crowd here at Microsoft Discovery kills that idea dead!

Hands on Windows 8 Touch Devices

The Event began with a hall full of vendors allowing every attendee to go hands on with their Windows 8 device or Windows 8 Phone. Microsoft managed to pull off an act of serious diplomacy towards their OEM partners by not pulling all the focus onto the Surface RT at least until it was mentioned by Steve Ballmer in his keynote.

My two favorites stands were Asus and HTC. Asus had a variety of tablet / hybrid tablet – laptops but the Taichi was the device I had been skeptical about until I saw and tried it. The Taichi is a laptop with a screen on each side of the top. When I heard about this I discounted it as gimmicky but when the salesperson from Asus demonstrated it by standing opposite and showing me a presentation on screen that I could also work on and not just on the same thing but another document I was blown away.

Asus Taichi dual sided screen

The other Asus winner was the Transformer-like Vivo RT

Transformer Like Asus Vivo

The quality of design and materials of the Asus devices has not faltered in any way. These are sleek, thin but sturdy devices made with attention to detail and the right materials.

HTC was displaying the HTC 8X their powerhouse Windows Phone 8 in a well designed form-factor. I use a Windows Phone 7, the HTC Titan which fits nicely in my large hands but the small changes in design, beveling the back corners of the case made for a more comfortable fit. The screen was a joy with depth of color and sharpness beyond anything I had experienced and given that it was an HTC there was no need to check the sound. IMHO HTC demolishes the competition when it comes to sound quality. If I had to choose right now between this phone or a Lumia, I wouldn’t hesitate.

HTC's flagship Windows Phone the 8x

The phone was fast and responsive and Windows Phone 8 OS is everything it’s meant to be.

The Launch

The event itself was something to behold, here is a photo of some of the crowd waiting for the event to get started

The crowd at Discovery 2012

The best review of the event I have read is from giving her perspective on the day.

The Warptest perspective

Microsoft Discovery was a well polished, multimedia event clearly produced by professionals who with an initial dance number, an interactive stage display and a series of TV Show like chats between various well put together Microsoft managers and some hands on display of a variety of Windows 8 Devices presented a strong launch with high energy.

The keynote was delivered by Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. This was my first time seeing him speak live and I cannot describe the passion, energy, humor and winning personality that he brings to the stage.Hearing him talk about the potential for Windows 8 and having tried it myself it’s hard not to see a glowing future for Microsoft.

Several other things stood out: –

  • The presentation of Office 2013. I reviewed it earlier this year and if you haven’t downloaded and tried it then you are missing a treat. This is the ultimate productivity tool.
  • XBox – Xbox 360 is finally and yes, belatedly officially launching in Israel and this was launched with a visit from Master Chief himself on stage with a backdrop trailer for the pending HALO4.

  • The Head of Microsoft Israel gave a presentation that included a tongue-in-cheek video of him and his staff discussing Windows 8 only to be interrupted by Israeli Supermodel Bar Refaeli who had a few pointers and comments vis a vis marketing and features. (sadly this video is not online to share or embed yet).

As you know i have upgraded to Windows 8 and I spoke to several people attending the conference who were happy to discuss with me the hows and whys of upgrading.

Based on what I saw, I’m giving Windows 8 and the various devices a strong buy recommendation.