John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Microsoft Gives Developers the Keys to Its “Decision Engine,” Bing

Bing_as_platformInvestors calling on Microsoft to dump its Bing search engine best resign themselves to a hard reality: That’s not going to happen anytime soon.

The company announced today a new Bing platform, one that opens up a lot of the search engine’s capabilities to third-party developers. During Microsoft’s Build conference keynote Wednesday, Bing VP Gurdeep Singh Pall walked developers through the platform, imploring them to use the “decision engine’s” entities and data to build more creative apps.

“Bing is a great search tool, but it’s actually very valuable outside of the search box as well,” Pall said. “For a long time, we’ve now thought that you could use these capabilities to create some great experiences.”

What sorts of capabilities? Some of Bing’s most powerful: Cloud-based visual recognition, speech control, translation, mapping and routing, and Microsoft’s newly-announced 3-D imagery for maps. That’s a compelling portfolio of capabilities for developers, and Microsoft is hoping it will be used to build some killer new Windows apps. “I learned a lesson in the ’90s when I was a Windows developer,” Pall said. “And that is, if we can do something with an API that is good, third parties can do something that is dynamite.”

It’s pretty clear, then, that Microsoft has no intention of divesting Bing, and every intention of deeply coupling it with Windows 8 and the ecosystem developing around it. Said Pall, “Think of Bing for Developers as the brain of the Web for your applications.”


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik