bing

Richard Waters

The realignment in the tech world triggered by the smartphone wars continues apace. The latest installment: Microsoft and RIM, which will make Bing the default search engine on the BlackBerry. It may only be a distribution deal for search and maps at this stage, but the appearance of Steve Ballmer at a big RIM event was striking. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Amazon has announced it is to sell its Kindle e-reader for $25 less than the lowest current list price — with adverts and other types of sponsored content, PaidContent reports.  The first companies to advertise include Buick, Chase, Olay, and Visa and the promotions will appear on either the screen saver or the bottom of the home page.

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Joseph Menn

Yahoo on Wednesday began rolling out improvements to its core search function that produce results–not just links–on popular subjects much faster than before. Read more

Tech News from around the web:

  • The value of Facebook is the subject of two news items on the web today. The New York Post is reporting that representatives of a co-founder of the social network – which could be either Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz or Eduardo Saverin – have approached a Wall St dealmaker about selling up to 10m shares of common stock. Meanwhile, according to CNBC, Facebook is now worth $65bn after General Atlantic, an investment company, was named as a purchaser of one tenth of one percent of Facebook.

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Richard Waters

Google’s accusation today that Microsoft’s Bing is copying its search results feels like a telling moment in the long-running Search Wars.

When I caught up just now with Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search quality, he didn’t mince his words: “It’s crazy. I haven’t seen anything like this in ten years in search.” For Microsoft, it raises an uncomfortable question: after years of work and hundreds of millions of dollars, is it still unable to match Google without hanging onto its coattails? Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • RIM is considering a feature that will allow BlackBerry devices to run Android apps, according to BGR. The company is looking at using a Java virtual machine that would allow the forthcoming PlayBook and other QNX devices to run just about any application built for the Android platform.

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Joseph Menn

Japan’s antitrust authorities have cleared Yahoo Japan’s plan to rely on Google for algorithmic search results, rejecting complaints from Microsoft and others that the combined service would field as much as 90 per cent of the nation’s search queries.

Japan Fair Trade Commission officials told wire services that they would not block the deal announced in July but would continue to monitor it for any harm to the market. Read more

Joseph Menn

A year after Yahoo and Microsoft finally agreed to combine their search efforts, the result is showing up.
Starting this week, natural searches on Yahoo from the US and Canada will begin being “powered” by Bing, the Microsoft search engine. Paid search results are still on track to be delivered by Microsoft this autumn, Yahoo executives said Tuesday, unless quality issues force a delay past the winter holidays.
Most users won’t be able to tell the difference, but the relevance should be better, said Yahoo vice president Shashi Seth. Read more

Richard Waters

Today’s closure of Microsoft’s two-year-old Cashback experiment serves as a reminder of an important point: it has failed to come up with any smart ideas to subvert Google’s business model.

Ballmer and Gates always made clear that they saw the search wars taking place on two fronts – technology and business model. Improving the quality of results and the user experience was only part of the fight. Turning the tables on Google through business innovation supposedly offered another opportunity. Read more

Richard Waters

The quote most commonly attributed to ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky is that he skated to where the puck was going to be next, not where it was at the time.

Google has clearly taken this message to heart, to judge from the advances it showed off on Monday in the areas of mobile and real-time search.

What made this all the more striking was the contrast with Microsoft, which last week tried to whip up attention for Bing with a rare event in Silicon Valley to boast its own search innovations. Microsoft’s interest  seemed very much focussed on where the puck already is – though it still has some fresh ideas that suggest it should be able to put up a better fight in this latest round of the Search Wars. Read more