There has been a lot of buzz about Alibaba lately. Their upcoming IPO is set to make a few people billionaires and many more millionaires. It may in fact be the biggest IPO ever in recent history. Analysts estimate the company is worth between $136 to $250 Billion. Within technology companies this puts Alibaba’s worth below Apple, Google and Microsoft and on the lower end, just under Facebook and Qualcomm. For those not familiar with Alibaba, it is the Chinese version of Google, Amazon, Ebay, and Youtube combined. Among its early investors include Japanese based Softbank and Yahoo. Softbank CEO and founder Masayoshi Son recently bought Sprint in the United States and is looking to also acquire T-Mobile. Son was an early investor Yahoo and owns the majority of Yahoo Japan. Son was instrumental in also convincing Yahoo to invest in Alibaba. In 2005 Yahoo invested $1 billion in Alibaba for ...

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Yesterday, Microsoft released updates to their Bing suite in Windows Store. About 6 Bing apps got updated and unfortunately all of them seems to be minor updates. There are no change log in the Store listings and no new features were spotted. It must be a bug fix release. You can find the updates in Windows Store. Bing Weather - The Weather app, powered by Bing, helps you prepare for the latest conditions with hourly, daily and 10-day forecasts. Designed for Windows, featuring beautiful weather images, the Weather app puts control at your fingertips. Compare weather from multiple providers, check radar maps and view historical weather. Get current weather information for your location and for the other places you care about, like a family member’s city or your next vacation destination. Bing Sports - The Bing Sports app, powered by Bing, makes it easy for you to keep up with ...

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Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxbusiness.com”>video.foxbusiness.com</a> In an interview with FOX Business Network’s Liz Claman, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates spoke about their respective fields and some things which are in common. Bill Gates was asked by a student on whether Microsoft should spin off Bing and Xbox business to create more value to the shareholders. He replied that he don’t think Microsoft would do that. Because, Bing is becoming a fundamental technology platform that nowadays powers even Microsoft’s core business Office. He also pointed out that Microsoft has spin off companies that they think are not relevant to Microsoft’s vision, some of the examples are Expedia and Slate magazine. But the basic research and the stuff that goes into Bing simple makes it impossible for Microsoft to spin it off. Similarly in Xbox business, Microsoft is bringing the power of PC gaming to console and they are trying ...

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Earlier this week, Microsoft rolled out updates to the Bing for Android app that includes a new streamlined look and feel, improved performance, support for Bing Rewards and more. Also, the performance of the app has been improved. More immersive search results pages New built-in full screen browser Added controls to search in specific countries Refreshed interface The changes are more than just cosmetic, we have optimized for performance. You will now notice that the app is markedly faster than the previous version. For Bing Rewards fans, we have included a way to track your points natively within the app so you can keep tabs on your progress. With last week’s roll out of Bing for Schools this is another great way to help your favorite school earn Surfaces. Download the app from Google Play Store. ...

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A class action complaint was filed against Google yesterday for using secret deals by exploiting their Android monopoly by forcing smartphone OEMs such as Samsung and others to make Google search engine the default choice on their mobile devices. The lawsuit claims that this move by Google harms consumers by making the devices cost more. Because, Apple receives over billion dollar from Google for making Google as the default search engine. If any Android OEM wants to make similar deal with Microsoft or Yahoo for making default search engine, they will lose access to Google Apps and Google Play Store in Android. Under the secret MADA’s, device makers must allegedly include all of the following applications: Set-up Wizard, Google Phone-top Search, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, YouTube, Google Maps for Mobile, Google Street View, Contact Sync, Android Market Client (not products downloaded from Android Market), Google Voice Search, and Network Location ...

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Microsoft today announced that they are bringing improvements to Bing Smart Search in Windows 8.1 devices. Bing Smart Search allows you to swipe or type from the start screen to find what you need – whether it’s a document on your PC, a photo album in the cloud, your favorite app, or a website. Today, Microsoft is adding natural language capabilities to this search experience. For example, when you search for ‘install a printer’, you will have related Device Settings in the search results. Search More Naturally Have you ever tried to get something done on your device but you weren’t exactly sure what you were looking for? For instance, how do I take a screenshot or how do set-up a printer? Based on the most common tasks people perform on Windows 8, we are taking steps to allow Smart Search to showcase results based on natural language understanding. Now ...

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Last week, Nate Silver posted a blog from the survey data collected from people in the US showing how much major US cities differ in terms of when they arrive at work. Inspired by this experiment, Microsoft Bing team today posted an infographic by using Bing usage as a proxy for when people get online, start work or otherwise wake up. Check out out below. How did we come up this? We calculated the time at which we receive 50% of daily peak traffic from each metro area in their local time zones. The 25 cities follow the same general curve across all seven days of the week. While the patterns are the same, we did see a 43 minute shift between the earliest risers and the late risers. Based on this, the metro area that wakes up earliest is San Francisco, reaching 50% of traffic at 6:43AM and on ...

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Microsoft and AOL today announced a deal in which Microsoft will distribute AOL original videos across its MSN and Bing properties. The content which is on AOL On video site like AOL’s HuffPost Live, TechCrunch and Moviefone as well as its partner sites, including ESPN, TMZ, and Martha Stewart will be features in Microsoft’s properties. For now, Microsoft will sell the ads for the videos, and AOL will share ad revenue. The content will include AOL’s library of nearly 900,000 videos, all 15 AOL On channels and original series expected to launch next week. With MSN reaching about 450 million users and Bing apps on Windows/Windows Phone platforms reaching tens of millions of users, AOL videos will get a significant viewers boost with this deal. In addition to this, Microsoft is also planning to produce its own original content videos which will also be featured on MSN and Bing apps. ...

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Microsoft today released a new app called Bing Wikipedia Browser  for Windows 8/RT devices in Windows Store. It allows you to search and browse through the Wikipedia content with the power of Bing. Description: Bing Wikipedia Browser by Microsoft combines the content from Wikipedia — the free encyclopedia — with enhanced search, browse, and content recommendations based on the Bing Knowledge repository. Features: •search & browse articles with comfort •explore related topics with the bottom recommendation bar •flip through all images in an article in high resolution •share interesting topics with your friends Download it here from Windows Store for free. ...

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Microsoft released its third quarter (Q3) earnings earlier today for fiscal year 2014 (FY14). This is the first quarter under new CEO Satya Nadella. The earnings report contained a number of interesting pieces of information including how Bing is doing. Bing search marketshare grew to 18.6 up 1.7% compared to this quarter last year. Bing continues to gain at the expense of Yahoo now at 10.1% of search marketshare. Bing does power Yahoo and the combined search marketshare equals a total of 28.7%. Google continues to dominate at 67.5%. The rest of search marketshare is split between Ask and AOL. Bing search revenue was up 38%. Microsoft continues to invest in Bing and product is now built into Windows 8 and powers search assistant Cortana on Windows Phone. Source: Microsoft ...

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Two days back we reported Bing would make predictions of the events based on their ability to process trillions of signals to reflect what is happening in the real world. Popular reality tv show “The Voice,” was among the tv shows Bing is making predictions for: How do we make the predictions for The Voice? The central idea behind the direct approach is that winners and losers correspond to popularity. In broad strokes, we define popularity as the frequency and sentiment of searches combined with social signals and keywords. Placing these signals into our model, we can predict the outcome an event with high confidence. For The Voice, our model is tuned to account for biases, such asregional preferences, and other measurable and observable trends. We have also learned how to combine the prior popularity of a contestant with the contribution due to his or her performance. Although we might believe that the outcome of ...

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Microsoft Bing Rewards has now added a new redeem option where you can get 100 points/miles for popular airline and hotel loyalty programs with 400 reward credits. Redeem your credits and get 100 points/miles for your favorite frequent flyer, hotel or retail loyalty program. Participating programs include American Airlines AAdvantage®, Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns®, Hawaiian Airlines® HawaiianMiles®, Icelandair Saga Club, IHG® Rewards Club, LifeMiles, My BestBuy™ Rewards, SVM FuelCircle, US Airways® Dividend Miles® and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Once you receive the certificate, choose your preferred loyalty program, enter your member number and some info to make sure it’s you, and your points or miles will be deposited into your program account. Rack up your credits to get rewarded faster! Travel, stay or shop that much sooner. Find more details about this reward here. If you are new to Bing Rewards, sign up here. ...

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Bing image search experience is one of my favorite web service that I use often. Microsoft today blogged about the Bing Image search quality providing us a behind the scenes look into how Bing is improving image search quality by exploring some additional techniques that they are employing to deliver high quality image results. Bing listed some of the techniques they use in deriving Bing Image search results, Understanding Image Quality Understanding Objects Understanding Color Filtering Image Characteristics Faces, Shoulders and Bodies Understanding Image Style Better Image Quality by Smart Cropping Better Thumbnail Visual Quality Building Hero Image Experiences For comparison with Google, check the images above. First one is the Bing image search result and the below one is from Google. For example with a query like “photos of yunnan”, where Yunnan is a beautiful resort in China, users expect to not only see relevant but also beautiful images ...

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Microsoft today announced a new feature for Bing.com where they will be posting the predictions of the events based on their ability to process trillions of signals to reflect what is happening in the real world. For instance, during the presidential elections, Bing experiences a surge of positive and negative queries about the presidential candidates from different parts of the U.S. Taking this model even further, teams within Bing have been experimenting with useful ways that we can harness the power of Bing to model outcomes of events. This could be anything from an election or sporting event to whether an actor will win the People’s Choice Award. Bing team is bringing these insights directly to our search results pages. Based on a variety of different signals including search queries and social input from Facebook and Twitter, they will be unveiling an experiment they have built to give you our prediction ...

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Microsoft revealed the Cortana digital assistant platform at BUILD developer conference earlier this month. Behind the scenes, its Microsoft’s Bing platform that powers Cortana. Even though Cortana responds based on your intent and behavior now, MSR expects it to interact in an increasingly anticipatory, natural manner in the future. Microsoft Research detailed some of the technologies involved in building Cortana. Even though many of us would just categorize them under Artificial Intelligence label, Microsoft Research has detailed all of those technologies involved. Speech recognition, Semantic/natural language processing, Dialogue modeling between human and machines, Spoken-language generation, Microsoft Research has used all of the above base technologies for a creating a virtual personal assistant based on the work they have done in different areas of personal-assistant technology. Cortana’s design philosophy is therefore entrenched in state-of-the-art machine-learning and data-mining algorithms. Furthermore both developers and researchers are able to use Microsoft’s broad assets across ...

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Microsoft is fighting an uphill battle against Google in search advertising market. With Yahoo search deal, Microsoft is now providing the technology for both web search results and search advertising. According to the “State of Paid Search” report for the first quarter of the year, advertisers now spending more money on Bing than ever. In fact, Bing is now growing at a rate double that of Google. The increase in spend indicates that Bing is now becoming a more appealing network for advertisers to devote their marketing spend, in part because of its recent increases in click-through rate (CTR) combined with decreases in cost-per-clicks (CPCs). “Bing gains ground in overall search traffic and has proven to be an appealing alternative to Google,” said Delia Perez, SVP Marketing Strategy at the firm. “A number of factors are driving this growth as advertisers are drawn to Bing’s more flexible campaign management tools ...

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