Bing Fall Update, Releases Array of Upgrades Comprising 'Bing Maps, Bing Local, Bing Mobile, Bing Travel, Bing Image Search'

At the Bing Search event in San Francisco, Microsoft unveiled a array of nearly across-the-board updates and improvements for Bing online and mobile apps.Facebook-related:Like Annotations: Search results will now show which links on the main results page have been "liked" by a person's Facebook friends.Social annotations: Bing is bringing "like" data into core search across […]

At the Bing Search event in San Francisco, Microsoft unveiled a array of nearly across-the-board updates and improvements for Bing online and mobile apps.

Facebook-related:

  • Like Annotations: Search results will now show which links on the main results page have been "liked" by a person's Facebook friends.
  • Social annotations: Bing is bringing "like" data into core search across all queries. Search results will now show which links on the search engine results page have been "liked" by a person's Facebook friends. This feature will show what a person's friends "liked" on the main results page and will be different for each user.

Bing Maps & Local enhancements:

  • OpenTable will be integrated into the local search vertical, allowing people to book reservations from the restaurant details page in Bing.
    1. Reservations through OpenTable are now available right on the local details pages.
    2. Every restaurant that is an OpenTable customer will have this functionality.
    3. Bing Local makes planning a night out easier and faster so you can spend more time on the important things (like what you're going to eat once you get there!)

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  • FanSnap will be integrated into the local search vertical, allowing people to purchase tickets to a concert or sporting event through the events details page in Bing.

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  • Everyscape integration: Interior Views on business profile pages will allow people to see inside local restaurants and businesses with 360-degree panoramic views. These views will be accessible from the local search results. This feature will initially be available in Seattle, San Francisco and Boston.

Bing maps:

  • Bing Maps will feature stronger differentiation and contrast between major and minor city streets so streets "pop" out more
  • Venue maps provide detailed maps and directories of venues, such as shopping malls, airports, museums and college campuses, within Bing Maps.
  • Improved Landmark Listings: Users now get contact information, related businesses, and landmark details immediately from the search for a landmark.
  • Transit Routing: Transit directions will be available for the AJAX experience. Users can choose their desired departure time and choose among multiple routes with similar travel time. The initial cities in the release are: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark Metro Area, New York Metro Area, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver BC, and Washington DC.
  • Map Interface: The new Bing.com/Maps experience allows rich features to be more accessible by all users. In this release, the Map Apps button and Gallery can be viewed in the Bing.com/Maps (AJAX) site -- once a Map App is opened, users without Silverlight will be shown how to download Silverlight to access Map Apps.
  • Map App Search: Adds a search box to find map apps within the app gallery.
  • The left-rail of the AJAX site will now guide users to some of Bing Maps' key features -- directions, traffic, business lookup, and map apps -- and helps map apps to be more discoverable within the core experience.

Mobile iPhone:

  • Streamlined Homepage: The homepage has received a facelift with an enriched layout and design for easier navigation and feature discoverability.
  • Autosuggest: Bing intelligently narrows and refines restaurant and movie searches by suggesting query strings to help people plan the perfect night out.
  • Bing Vision: Bring an object into the [camera] viewfinder, hold it still and Bing will detect text and present a highlighter tool to select words for a search. If the object has a barcode, Bing will instantly return product results. Search for a nearby business listing by pointing your camera at a landmark.

  • Check-in: Share your current location with friends and family via Facebook, foursquare or Windows Live Activity Stream.

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  • iPhone Apps: Surfaces iPhone apps in search results, when relevant.
  • Plans: From the Bing homepage or a local search result, people can plan a night out and share the plan with friends via Facebook, who can comment or join the plan.

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  • Opentable and Grubhub integration: With the integration of Opentable and Grubhub into Bing for Mobile, once you find your restaurant of choice, you can reserve a table on OpenTable or order takeout from Grubhub without leaving the Bing app.
  • Real-Time Transit Predictions: Real-time updates for Boston, San Francisco and Seattle allow commuters to see if transit options are on schedule, early or delayed, with predictions for arrival times.

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  • StreetSide: Helps people orient themselves in unfamiliar places by stitching together and panning across street-level imagery of businesses, addresses or landmarks. If you pinch the screen to zoom out, the Streetside imagery will be stitched together so you can flick your finger and easily pan through streets. Also, the names of local businesses in the current street-level view appear under their respective buildings so you can learn more about what you're seeing.

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  • Reminders: Create a "to-do" list and set reminders to receive alerts when near a specific location.
  • Voice search, powered by Microsoft TellMe, is faster than before and allows you to fine-tune your existing search using your voice, without having to repeat the entire search.

Mobile (Android):

  • What's Nearby: Bing will automatically detect "what's nearby" and present dynamic and full category search pages.

  • Bookmark Images: now you can bookmark any image result from the Web to the device.
  • Search Widget: expands beyond the ability to search contacts, apps, audio files or the Web and includes ability to search third party apps that register to be searchable.

  • Share Command: Share content with friends using any loaded app that can accept and share content (images, URLs, etc.).
  • Opentable and Grubhub integration: With the integration of Opentable and Grubhub into Bing for Mobile, you can reserve a table on OpenTable or order takeout from Grubhub without leaving the Bing app.

Travel:

  • Flight Summary: Displays an instant set of airfares as users enter flight details such as cities and dates. This provides people with an approximate cost for their trip without having to complete a full search, and allows people to see alternative travel options that could help save money or provide a better value.
  • Flight Answers: Flight search options have expanded to include Flight Answers, which utilize flight search and top deals. Users can type "I want to fly to Paris next January" and find a form pre-filled with January dates, or try "fly SEA to SFO on Dec 9 returning Dec 12" to find precise flight information. Users can also construct queries around one-way, non-stop and airline-specific requests.
  • Destination Pages: Bing's new destination pages pull together all the key information on a city, saving you time and energy: flights and hotels, images, attractions, events, maps and a weather overview.
  • Attraction Answers: Bing attractions now features 60K attractions Worldwide, ~20K attractions US.

Image search:

  • Bing's new image search organizes images in a more intuitive way and brings back additional categories
  • Collage Answers: Richer instant answers across entertainment verticals including music, movies, TV and Games. Once you click through to the "images" page you will notice that we've populated the tabs with the most common search queries associated with a given image. Instead of making you qualify that you're looking for (Casablanca, Morocco or Casablanca, the movie), we have organized the tabs so that one simple click gets you to what you're looking for.

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Entertainment:

  • Landing pages for movies and television shows will now include organizational tabs to allow people to explore more detailed information such as trailers, reviews and showtimes.
  • Extended TV listings and episode guides will be integrated into search results, along with TV clips and show information.