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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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus