Microsoft Bing and Skype units tighten their ties

Microsoft Bing and Skype units tighten their ties

Summary: Microsoft's Bing and Skype units are working on a number of cross-platform products and promotions.

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It's been a while since I've heard any of the Microsoft teams use the old "better together" rhetoric. But on March 27, the Bing team resurrected that old meme in discussing more cross-product synergies in the works between the two.

Over the next few days, Microsoft plans to add Skype credits to its Bing Rewards redemption center, according to a March 27 post on the Bing Community blog. In exchange for 100 Bing Rewards credits, users can get Skype Credits for up to 60 minutes of paid calling functionality on Skype. This includes the ability to call landlines or mobile phones; SMS to mobile phones directly; and/or set up a Skype To Go number and call abroad from any phone.

Bing Rewards is a program via which members can earn credits for rewards by conducting searches on Bing or trying out new Bing features.

Bing and Skype are also tying it up on the Bing Bar front. Skype has recently begun offering users the ability to easily download the Bing Bar -- a toolbar that includes links to Hotmail, breaking news on Bing, access to Facebook and more. According to the blog post, new Skype users "are being offered the Bing Bar at installation, and existing Skype users may also be offered it."

It sounds like there may be more, unspecified "better together" mash-ups coming between Bing and Skype in the future, from what the new blog post says. I'm thinking we'll see more Bing Mobile-Skype synergies on Windows Phone, for one. Any other guesses as to what else these two units may be teaming on?

Topics: Browser, CXO, Collaboration, Microsoft, Telcos, Social Enterprise

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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12 comments
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  • kill toolbars!

    Please kill the Bing Bar!
    Kit Yeung
    • Ho goodie, another toolbar!

      I can't wait to bloat down my browser some more. Bring on the spyware!
      ScorpioBlack
  • Overhaul Skype!

    Now that MS owns Skype I wish they would completely overhaul the UI. Skype looks like a 2001 Mac OSX relic. They need to metro-fy Skype and actually integrate it into products like Kinect, Windows Phone, Win8, etc... The Skype WP app is dumb. Well, it's not dumb, it's just another app. It has its own dialer. It's own old-school UI. In fact, it looks more Android than WP metro. Fo real...
    frankwick
  • 2 M$ turkey won't make an eagle.

    even if M$ pays you to do use its monopolistic services!
    The Linux Geek
    • monoplistic?

      This isn't 2001.
      frankwick
  • mmmm, foistware

    much as I like Bing and like the idea of easy access to things, I just can't bear toolbars in the browser - can't believe how much I prefer less chrome ;-)
    mary.branscombe
  • Toolbars and integration are not going to sell Microsoft.

    Microsoft has three issues that routinely stand in it's way.
    1) No consumer trust, (2) Marketing overrides good engineering, and (3) poor timing.

    This is no different. Consumers are not going to trust initially a product released by Microsoft that combines so many products into one unless the option is there to use other products. (It won't be). MS Marketing will ultimately use this integration in a manner that is either unethical, creates dependencies on new less popular products, or undermines the security of the product in some severe and unpalatable way. Then they are doing this at a time when Toolbars are synonymous with spyware.
    Socratesfoot
  • Better Togther

    I'm glad Microsoft revived this theme. There are so many opportunities for them to point out how 2 or more of their product create a synergy. Like SharePoint 2010, Lync, or Office 2010 and Exchange 2010. I think they need to showcase this more.

    In regards to Bing and Skype, odd couple, but nice. The toolbar though is asking a lot, especially when they are trying to have a world without add-ons in Metro IE 10. I know they aren't there just yet, but I think a better "better together" scenario would be to use Bing.com local search with an HTML 5 Skype client built in so that you can one click call places from a Bing local search using Skype (without any add-ons like Facebook).
    TechnoTim06
  • And the value Bing brings is...

    I fail to see the value of Bing. What does it bring that Google doesn't? Is the search engine more effective? Does it prevent advertisements? Can I tailor my searches in a better way? It's unclear to me.
    gadgety
    • Bing is better

      The search results are definitely better with Bing.
      x I'm tc
    • What does it bring that Google doesn't?

      A: Another option for the consumer.

      That alone helps stem the tide of possible misconduct, as users can take their business elsewhere.
      TechNickle
  • Assistant

    As processing costs drop, it should be feasible to perform speech analysis and offer-up suggestions as the conversation is taking place:
    - discussing a weekend away, shows cheap flights/hotels for that city on that weekend
    - discussing a picnic tomorrow, shows the relevant weather
    etc.

    Obviously this would require a privacy button, if you don't want Bing listening in.

    As long as it is helpful, I think a lot of people would leave the feature switched on.
    Jim Nicholson