While it's no secret that Microsoft is working hard on getting Windows 8 ready for a beta launch and while the company has shown a few snippets of the new user interface here and there, exact details about its internals and what the full experience will look like remain rare. Today, however, Microsoft's president of the Windows and Windows Live division Steven Sinofsky announced the launch of a new company blog that will keep consumers and customers updated about the state of Windows 8. The next version of Windows, according to Sinofsky, will reimagine Windows "for a new generation of computing devices, and will be the very best operating system for hundreds of millions of PCs, new and old, used by well over a billion people globally."
Google, Bing and Yahoo today launched a new initiative that will introduce a common vocabulary for adding additional market and structured data to search engine listings. Schema.org, as this new markup is called, allows website owners to give search engines better ways to understand the content on their sites. With schema.org, you can, for example, ensure that a search engine knows that something on your site is a recipe, a movie review with a rating, a listing for a local business or that a specific page is about a product. In total, the schema.org hierarchy knows of a few hundred different content types that can be described through its vocabulary.
Microsoft today announced a deeper integration of Facebook's "like" data with its Bing search engine. This data now powers a number of new feature that don't just make Bing's social search competitive but actually better and more useful than Google's current efforts in the social search arena. While Google is able to pull in data from Twitter and a number of other services (including its own recently launched +1 and public Facebook fan pages), Microsoft is the only major search engine with access to Facebook's firehose. Thanks to this, Bing now shows you whenever a friend has 'liked' a page that appears on your search results page and pushes these results to the top of the page, too.
Bing, Microsoft’s upstart search engine, hasn’t quite been able to replicate its success in the U.S. in the European market. The latest data from Hitwise includes some good news for Microsoft, however. While every other search engine in the UK lost market share in the last year, Bing actually managed to increase its share of searches in March by 1.4% compared to one year ago. Now that’s now a huge change by any means – and its overall share of searches is still just 4.4% compared to Google’s 90%. As Hitwise’s Robin Goad points out, though, “this translates to a lot of extra searches occurring in Bing.”
Bing, Microsoft's increasingly popular search engine, just launched a new product for business owners today that not only allows them to claim and edit their profiles on Bing's local search feature, but also introduces a new self-serve platform for offering deals and other offers to their users. These offers can appear on Bing, as well as the business owner's own website and Facebook pages. The service replaces Bing's Local Listing Center.
FarmVille's star is slowly fading. Zygna's former flagship game is now only the third-most popular app on Facebook. Even as more and more crops wither due to their owners' neglect, over 20 Million Internet users added to Zynga's bottom line yesterday by getting into the virtual construction business with the current #1 on FaceBook: CityVille.
Even though some argue that Internet Explorer 9 is about two years late, there is clearly still a lot of interest in Microsoft's newest browser. Since its launch on February 10, the release candidate of IE9 has been downloaded 2 million times. This number only includes user-initiated downloads, as Microsoft has not pushed automatic updates to current IE9 beta users.
Today Microsoft launched two major new feature for Bing, its increasingly popular search engine. Bing can now show local search results based on your current location and personalize results based on your previous searches and clicks.
There is a scandal brewing in the tech world this morning that has the potential to greatly tarnish the reputation of Bing, Microsoft's Google-challenger. According to Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan, Google thinks that Microsoft is copying some of its search results. That's about as serious an allegation as there can be in the search engine world. In an early statement, Stefan Weitz, Microsoft's director of Bing does not deny this, but notes that Bing uses "multiple signals and approaches" when thinking about ranking.
The Yandex team launched an alpha version of its new browser today and there are plenty of interesting design ideas here. Overall, it feels like a bit of a hybrid between Safari and Opera Coast. I rather like the tabs at the bottom of the screen, but I'm not sure I could use a browser without a bookmark bar as...