Back in 2007, a few executives ago, Microsoft was touting the advantages it would have in search as a result of its ability to integrate its engine into its own online properties and products.
(Microsoft execs referred to this kind of search as "convenience search." Going to a search engine and typing in a query there is what they called "destination search.")
Cut to July 9, 2009. Today, Microsoft announced one of those long-promised "convenience search" capabilities with the ability to directly insert Bing search results into Hotmail messages. Microsoft has moved from pilot stage to final and has integrated a "Quick Add" feature into Hotmail.
From a new posting on the Windows Live Wire blog:
"With Hotmail’s quick add feature, now enhanced with Bing, you can easily search, find, and insert content from the web straight into your e-mail messages. With just one click you can add restaurant reviews, movie times, images, videos, maps and more."
To use Quick Add, users can select a category from a new Quick Add pane on the right when composing new e-mail messages. From there, they can directly insert a Bing search result into their messages.
Quick Add is "currently available in select languages and geographies (Australia, Canada, China, India, US, and UK), according to the Hotmail team.
Microsoft officials said a couple years ago to expect Microsoft to integrate its search engine into lots of other Microsoft properties and products -- everything from Messenger, to Spaces, to MSN. The Bingification of a number of these Microsoft entities is already well under way.
Will "convenience" search capabilities help Microsoft grow Bing's share much? Guess we'll see as the next set of query data starts rolling in....