Bing eyes Desktop Search Market

Microsoft’s search engine is one of the lesser known search engines on the web. With lesser known I mean that its far behind in terms of market share with respect to the market leader – Google.

One thing that seems to be working in their favour though, is the So.cl is doing better than G+. Now, in an attempt to nudge out Google from the King of Search Engines, Microsoft has rolled out a new update with their Windows platform. The Bing Desktop.

Good features, and I do recommend this because I like beautiful wallpapers on my desktop :), is that Bing auto-changes the desktop on my Windows. It’s a simple feature, but its different from what Google Desktop does. The rest of the features are pretty much the same as Google Desktop (including the search bar when you hit Ctrl twice).

Google increased their business by focusing on their main product – Search. I think Microsoft is taking a page from that strategic move … focus on pushing products via their flagship product – Windows.

New social network on the block So.cl

So.Cl

On 2nd Feb 2012, I received a mail from FUSE Labs. It was about Microsoft Research team’s new experiment. Happy to get a beta invite, I jumped on-board – it was 7am early in the morning when I had decided to check my mail. I got so absorbed checking out the site that I hardly noticed an hour fly by!

Up front So.cl is less confusing than Google+, here’s what it seems to do –

  • You can get in touch with random people and can follow-unfollow them (ala Twitter, G+)
  • Rich media looks really good on the site
  • A new feature which I found really cool was Video Parties (crowd-sourced video playlists which keep playing in one section of the site)

Here’s the catch!

To add posts on this social network, you have to search for terms … on Bing. Yes. on Bing.

They have really taken search social. Something that Google+ is doing slowly and carefully, Microsoft has twisted the entire approach and done a bold step under the name of an experiment.

It’s definitely worth a shot, do give it a whirl here.

You will require a Facebook ID to register and login, which kind of acknowledges FB as the king of all social networks.

Microsoft to open up?

Microsoft has started to take the power of the development community seriously. In a press conference yesterday, they have put a very verbose official release regarding increasing the interoperability of all the high volume MS products by releasing and maintaining documentation of their APIs on their site. As quoted from Steve Ballmer,

For the past 33 years, we have shared a lot of information with hundreds of thousands of partners around the world and helped build the industry, but today’s announcement represents a significant expansion toward even greater transparency. Our goal is to promote greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for customers and developers throughout the industry by making our products more open and by sharing even more information about our technologies.

Read the complete release here.

The products whose APIs would be released are Windows Vista (including the .NET Framework), Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007, and Office SharePoint Server 2007, and future versions of all these products.

Can we have someone look into the revenue of these products as well?

Translated, will now have to buy a license and become a registered member of MSDN to understand the APIs for the “high volume products”.

Addendum
RedHat was not so much impressed with this release, read more of it here.

Microsoft Vista

Do not worry, I am not going to complain about (or sing paeans) on this product of MS. Its about their much needed SP1 release. Just read a release here.

This is precisely the kind of impatience that results in a bad product. I do not blame the firm for this excuse of an OS. I blame its users and its channel partners. Microsoft is a business organization after all, also one that is customer centric. So, it will follow the market demand … needless to say, if customers want a new thing now!!, then a new thing they will have. Who cares whether it works properly or not.

This reminds me of Howard Roark from The Fountainhead, and his stubborn indignation to do things his way. At least that way a good product is delivered. Could this be a case of escalation of commitment? Now that you have decided on Vista being a marketable product, make it better and within a given timeline.

I do not envy Microsoft. Lets leave it at that and thank the Ubuntu guys for making it run perfectly on my laptop.