Microsoft updates Bing app for Android and iOS, not Windows Phone 7

If Microsoft doesn't invest in its own mobile operating system why should you?
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Enjoy the new Bing on Android, but not WP7

Enjoy the new Bing on Android, but not WP7

If I hadn't read it on Microsoft's own Bing blog, I wouldn't have believed it. The Microsoft Bing team has just released the new Bing for Mobile app for iPhone and Android... but not for Windows Phone 7 devices.

Wow. Just wow.

The new mobile application sounds swell. It has several new features including:

    Maps/List Split View: Provides a dynamic way to synchronize a list such as business listings and directions and a map in a single view making it easy to see the location of what you’re searching for. Also works for driving directions and transit.

    Deals: One-stop deal shopping and convenient mobile phone access for local deals from more than 100 deal providers across the US.

    Transit/Real-Time: The Android app now features transit routing/real-time transit and news– all features that were previously only available on m.bing.com.

You can get the updated Bing app. on the general Android Market, Verizon customers can get it here, and Apple iPhone users can pick it up at the iPhone App Store. Windows Phone users can... ah... well “We’re working to release the same consistent experience for RIM and Windows Phone 7 devices in the future, and will share more details as they become available.”

Isn't that comforting?

I can understand being slow about RIM. Blackberry's papa company, is sinking fast, but not to support your own operating system with a major update to your mobile search engine functionality?

What's even more troubling is that Microsoft comes right out and says, “Rather than tightly binding functions into a mobile client, we want to embrace the drive towards exposing our functions via an HTML5 experience. In order for search to advance, engines need to be able to call functions that are currently ‘hiding’ in apps so we can better help people get done what they are trying to get done. Using HTML5, our goal is to build a mobile experience that leverages the unique capabilities of the different platforms including camera support and voice search, while making the functions the apps can provide consistent across the platforms and – in the future – callable by engines to help people get from searching to doing.”

Read that again. This application is meant to be more platform independent than most mobile applications thanks to its use of HTML5. In other words, Bing for Mobile app and its functionality is meant to be easy to port from one operating systems, to another, like, well their very own Windows Phone operating system. But, no, instead Microsoft put bringing its newest Bing functionality to its own platform on the back-burner.

Former Microsoft executive and current VMware president Paul Maritz is credited with coming up with the phrase “eating your own dog food” while he was at Microsoft.That is to say a company must use its own products before you can anyone else to buy into them. Microsoft seems to have forgotten that lesson.

Seriously, if Microsoft's own developers can't be troubled to make Windows Phone 7 a priority, why in the world should independent software vendors (ISV)s? In turn, why should users consider it seriously. If you like Microsoft's Bing search engine and you can get the best experience with it on an Android smartphone or an Apple iPad or iPhone, why would you buy a Windows phone?

Amazing. Simply amazing.

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