Microsoft is giving Bing a huge marketing push this holiday season to capture the minds of people using Google. Their marketing theme is based on the characters from Rudolph the reindeer. Microsoft  licensed the rights to the characters from Rudolph’s 47-year-old holiday special after convincing their owners that the Bing commercials would further enhance reindeer’s story among the public. There’s no mistaking the common theme in the four Rudolph ads produced for the Bing promotion. The ads are all done in the same stop-motion puppet animation used in the original 1964 TV special. One features Bumble the Abominable Snowman using Bing to get ideas for a more fearsome roar. Another shows some of the characters turning to Bing for suggestions on a vacation that leads to a getaway on an island of misfit toys. Microsoft has bought seven slots on national TV to run those four 30-second ads. The company ...

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According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft has signed NDA with Yahoo to begin talks about bidding for the assests of Yahoo reported New York Times today. Microsoft will join the private equity firms like Silver Lake, TPG Capital and others who were also signed similar NDA’s with Yahoo last month about buying Yahoo. Even though Microsoft has several year Search deal with the company, other assets of Yahoo will largely overlap with Microsoft assests. Some of them are Yahoo.com, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo News, etc,. Microsoft may not need those assets but they are closely related to search, so it may help other firms to buy Yahoo by financing the deal to keep its search deal in action as it is today. Lets see how the deal plays out.. Source: NYT ...

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Today Bing team blogged about Bing.com/shopping features to make consumers Black Friday shopping an easy process. Two weeks ago we wrote about Bing Weekly deals. Head over to www.bingblackfriday.com to check out which products will be discounted. If you miss out this weekend, check out our weekly e-circularssections that highlight circulars from leading retailers (updated on a weekly basis.) There is a new Price History feature using which you can find out whether prices are rising or dropping and whether you should buy now or wait. It shows a nice little graph as well. Also when you search for an item, related products are listed above the results which may come handy to further explore the category and then Bing allows you to further narrow down your search with filters on the left-hand side of the screen. For example if you choose digital camera, you can filter by brand, lens, pixel count,etc,. More details ...

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Microsoft has made an acquisition after a long period of time. Microsoft has bought VideoSurf, an Israeli based startup focusing on Video search. The deal amount is said to be about $70  million. VideoSurf raised $28 million from former US President Al Gore, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Verizon Investment Fund, Pitango Venture Capital,Orbotech Ltd. founder Hanan Gilutz, and SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg. The company’s technology scans video websites, such as Hulu, Metacafe, and Dailymotion, enabling users to easily find a specific video online. The technology can scan video clips quickly, implement a thorough search of their content (such as faces or events), and tag the various clips. Another Israeli company AnyClip Ltd. supplies Hollywood video content to Videosurf to enable video search based on content.  The site has more than 20 million users view each month. I think Microsoft will try to integrate VideoSurf’s technology into Bing Videos and even Xbox to make finding videos easier for consumers. More details here. ...

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Today Bing team announced that Bing Daily Deals will be rebranded as MSN Offers. MSN Offers lets you subscribe to daily email notifying you about the best deals in your local area. Since people will get confused with the Bing.com/deals which aggregates thousands of daily deals everyday, Microsoft rebranded it as MSN Offers. We wanted to give you a heads up that Bing Daily Deals will soon be re-named MSN Offers. It’s the same great set of values in your local area, but we wanted to clear up confusion between the Daily Deals you receive via email and the Bing Deals feature which aggregates daily deals from hundreds of providers at Bing.com/Deals. Moreover, better aligning Daily Deals with MSN, where you can go to find the best things going on in your local area, seems to make good sense. You don’t need to do or change a thing. You’ll still ...

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Microsoft today announced that it will open “Advanced Technology Center For Internet” at Beijing, China. The new center will focus on online services like Bing search engine, Online advertising (AdCenter), Technology for its MSN platforms and Mobile Internet services. Microsoft is also integrating its STCA (Search Technology Center Asia) and Advertising technology center in Beijing into the new ATCI. It will employ hundreds of R&D Engineers from China and Japan. Source: Sina via: menafn ...

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 Today Experian Hitwise reported that the Bing-powered search comprised 28.62 percent of searches for the month, with Yahoo! Search and Bing receiving 15.39 percent and 13.23 percent, respectively. This report differs from the comScore data which was released few days ago which reported that Bing powered search lost ~1%. Take a look at the market share stat below, Source: Hitwise   ...

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Today Bing dropped its beta label in Australia to officially launch its desicion engine. Microsoft claims key features of  Bing are: Bing is task oriented – designed to help you get things done more quickly, with less queries Bing is visually organised – displays search results with more than just blue links Nearly 3 million Australians use Bing search engine each month and local Bing users are increasing. Traffic increased by more than 65% between June 2009 and Sept 2011. Also Microsoft has done localisation effort to match Bing with local customers. Bing Australia partners and suppliers include: Australian syndicated content provider HWW, Navteq/Nokia, Sensis and Australian photographers for local Bing homepage images. Thanks to these partnerships, there are now more than 1,000 Australian attractions covered by the Bing ‘attraction feature’ and more than 1.25 million Australian local business listings in Bing local. You can read the full press release ...

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Bing Weekly Ads is a new section under Bing Shopping that lets you find the local store’s weekly deals. For example, you can fix your location as Redmond, WA and you will have list of stores to choose from. If you click staples, you will be presented with the above screen where you can find the current weekly deals in the particular store. You already have Sears, Macy’s, Staples, Radioshack and Best buy in the current list. You can check it out here and for example Redmond, WA deals at Staples here. ...

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Bing Editor’s Picks is a new section of Bing where websites are listed under different categories by Bing Editor’s manually. Bing editors selected these sites to make it easier and faster to find what you’re looking for. And we’ll be adding more sites with information we think you’ll want and collecting them right here. So select one of the topics below and let us know what you think. Its US only, you can check it out here. Thanks to Kip from LiveSide for the help. Update: Bing has officially announced this feature today. How we choose sites The job of Bing editors is to enhance your experience on Bing. For example, when we know you’re looking for something really specific — like “How to use a semicolon” or “Free clip art”— we’ll provide a list of editorially selected sites on that specific topic (in addition to our algorithmic results) to help ...

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According to October Search market share results from ComScore, Bing-Yahoo Search market share fell 0.2% against Google. Its second month in a row where Bing market share almost fell flat. Bing and Yahoo dropped to 30% share of search engine market in America in October 2011, as per data provided by comScore.   The search alliance hit 30.2% shares for September, compared to exactly 31.0%shares in August. I think Bing should do something phenomenal to rekindle its market share growth. The momentum is so important in search engine business. Lets see how Microsoft plays it out. ...

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Today Bing Maps team announced two new updates for Bing Maps. First one is the updated sharing feature for Maps. You can now share maps through twitter, Facebook or send to mobile in single click. Second is the simplified process for finding directions between places. On Sharing, Send the URL: The URL links are shorter, thanks to our “binged.it” domain. But if you’re more of a traditionalist, just click the “Show full URL” link to see the expanded version. Post to Facebook and Twitter: You can now easily share your results, directions, places, and more on Facebook and Twitter with one click (well…technically two, but who’s counting?). Say it with SMS: If you’re in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, or Italy you can send search results and driving directions directly to mobile phones via SMS. Simply click the Send/Mobile links attached to eligible business listings, popups, and direction ...

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Bing central is a new hub to manage everything you do with Bing. Right from your preferences to rewards, you can do everything in single place. Missions: New to Bing? Want to learn more? With Bing Central you will find guided “missions” through Bing which, when you’re signed up, allow you to, earn Bing Rewards credits. The missions walk you through everything from planning a night out, how to see what your friends like on Facebook to finding out when your favorite TV show will air next. Rewards: If you use Bing, you can get rewards including gift cards, , Microsoft points, premium subscriptions and more. You can sign up, redeem your credits, discover new ways to earn and take part in sweepstakes directly from Bing Central.   Preferences:-Filter content, set search language or location, with a few clicks you can customize your preferences. Search History-See all of your recent ...

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Yesterday Bing announced the partnership between Mozilla Foundation and Microsoft to release a customized version of Firefox. The new custom version of Firefox comes with Bing as the default search engine and many other things.  Firefox with Bing offers the latest version of Firefox with Bing set as your home page and the default setting in the search box and AwesomeBar (where you can also type in queries as well as Web addresses). If you already have the latest version of Firefox, then you just need to download the Bing Search for Firefox Add-on to set the same preferences. You can download Firefox with Bing at Firefoxwithbing.com ...

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Apple’s Siri voice assistant feature supports Microsoft Bing search engine too. Danny Sullivan from Search engine land discovered it. When Siri can’t find the answer by itself, it does a web search automatically. Or else you can say “Search the web for …..” to perform a web search. Both of the above uses Google as the search engine. But you can ask Siri to do web search using Bing too. Just say “Search Bing for ….”. For example, “Search Bing for Steve Ballmer News” or “Search Bing for weather” or “Search Bing for Search Engine Land” gives the above search results. Source: Danny Sullivan via: Search Engine Land ...

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