If the Tweets coming out of Microsoft's annual company meeting are on point, the 2.0 release of Microsoft's Bing search engine is coming this fall, and possibly as soon as next week.
Today, September 10, is the day that about 20,000 or so Softies have descended on Safeco Field in downtown Seattle for their annual pep rally and set of product demos.
Based on a handful of Tweets I've seen so far, meeting attendees (including those who are watching remotely) have seen a demo of Bing 2.0. At least one Tweeter claimed the new update of Bing is going to be rolled out the week of September 14.
None of the Tweets have given away many of the new features in the update. Here's one:
"Bing 2.0, out this month, has some exciting new features. Imagine seeing maps plus pics from the neighborhood of a restaurant to try. "
"BING 2.0 terrific !! watch out guys ! bing + silverlight in maps = amazing !! goodbye google"
Microsoft rolled out Bing 1.0 in late May. The first rollout was as much about rebranding and repositioning Microsoft's search engine as a "decision engine" as it was about introducing a slew of new features. One Microsoft official told me recently that version 1.0 of Bing was optimized to handle purchasing-specific tasks, but that the next release would add more generalized search functionality.
I asked Microsoft officials for comment regarding whether Bing 2.0 is coming next week and what will be in it. I'm doubtful they'll say anything, but if they do, I'll update this post.
Update: No dice. Here's all the spokesperson would say:
"We're very excited about some of the new Bing features set to roll out over the next few months, but have nothing to announce today."