Microsoft Kills One Of The Most Unique Features Of Bing, Flight Price Predictor Service Is No Longer Available

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Bing farecasr

Whenever someone compares Bing with Google, Bing Travel was one of the vertical in which Microsoft had a slight upper hand over Google. Bing Travel differentiates by offering predictions on when is the best time to purchase airline tickets. This flight price prediction technology was powered by Farecast, a technology that Microsoft acquired in 2008.

Unlike any other travel Web site, Farecast saved online travel shoppers money with an airfare prediction for their specific trip. The company’s patented airfare prediction tool shows whether the lowest fares for their trip are rising or dropping. Farecast also provides expected price movements, historical prices and buying tips when customers search for flights. Farecast is the only travel Web site that uses a database of over 175 billion airfares to help consumers know when to buy and when they have found a good deal when shopping for travel.

Microsoft has confirmed that they have ended this Farecast technology usage in Bing,

“Bing is no longer offering Price Predictor, but remains committed to delivering a comprehensive travel experience that gives people great travel information including flight and hotel search functionality. In addition to Bing.com/travel, travelers can find relevant travel information in new and visually compelling ways through the Bing Travel app and Bing Smart Search for Windows 8.1 and Bing Maps.

As to why price predictor was turned off — It was a business decision to focus resources on areas where we feel there are the greatest opportunities to serve travel needs.”

One of the main reasons Microsoft ended Farecast is that Google acquired ITA software which provided data for Farecast. Microsoft was not so happy with this Google’s acquisition and even opposed it publicly. Microsoft along with Fairsearch.org claimed that acquiring ITA Software would give Google control over the software that powers most of its closest rivals in travel search and could enable Google to manipulate and dominate the online air travel marketplace. The end result could be higher travel prices, fewer travel choices for consumers and businesses, and less innovation in online travel search. But eventually, Google ended up buying ITA and Microsoft ended its relation with it by killing Flight price prediction technology in Bing Travel.

 



About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • Nham Thien Duong

    (>_<) Scroogle is monopolistic and the media just say ''wow, they innovate'', and if Microsoft would've bought the same company they would've had tonnes and tonnes of lawsuits on their hands ¿why does this huge freakin' double standard even exist? ¿why are Scroogle and Crapple the darlings of the media? ¿why does everyone hate Microsoft?

    • Karthikeyan

      That is the way world works.

    • Guest

      Your victim mentality does not serve you or MSFT well.

      • McHale72

        Listen to “Guest” as he clearly stands by his words.

  • Karthikeyan

    Dafaq is this :O

    • DTM

      #Dafuq!

  • DTM

    “Do no evil”-my ass!!!

  • willied1029

    Well, that sucks. First the shopping feature, now this. WHY, WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE?!

    • rjmlive

      There is a relatively small percentage of people that use Bing. There
      is a humble percentage of people that use Bing that travel. There is a
      small percentage of those people that are even aware of this feature or
      use it. There could also be the factor that as businesses, airlines
      don’t necessarily want it easy for people to determine the lowest fares,
      but as the article says, perhaps there is simply a more engaging way to
      incorporate such data into maps or something else, like a more comprehensive total travel solution. It would be keen for Microsoft to re-invent the travel industry if possible. Like approach it how Apple would do it, and totally revamp, beautify and consolidate the entire thing and redefine this segment.

      • MGA

        Those of us who used Bing for the Travel price history/predictor, for the Bing Shopping, and all the other Bing features that keep getting cut, will be turning elsewhere.

        I noticed I couldn’t find the travel fare predictor a month or two ago when I was shopping for a flight. But thankfully found that Kayak is offering a similar service. And then after purchasing, both Kayak and Yapta offer price alerts for when the prices drop after purchase (some airlines will credit it back to your account if you ask them).

    • SategB

      Because MSFT decided not to buy the company. Google being very competitive and understanding importance of data for their ad based revenue business model did.

      For some it may appear to be a relative obvious answer but when confused it is good to ask. I am happy to help clarify it for you.