Bang : Microsoft’s Original Choice Of Name For Its Search Engine

Google is noun, google is verb. So, when Microsoft was contemplating a name for its refurbished search engine, the company was very particular that the name will eventually be used as a verb, very much on the lines of Google.

So, when the company rounded upon Bing and Bang as two possible choices, they eventually opted Bing over Bang simply because the latter as a verb did not just sound right.  David Webster, the chief marketing strategist at Microsoft tells us that saying someone “banged Obama’s dog” did not sound right.

He adds that ‘Bing’ is “the sound of found

What do you think? Wouldn’t ‘bang’ as a verb caught on more virally than Bing?

[via Alley Insider]

HTC Windows 7 Phone To Launch This Year

HTC has been churning out an impressive line of smartphones these days. More impressively, the Taiwan based handset manufacturer has also been diversifying its risks by partnering with more than one platform developer.

Speaking to Forbes in an interview, HTC CEO Peter Chou has revealed that his company shall unveil a Windows Phone 7 based handset in the latter half of this year. He said,

“They’re putting in tremendous effort to make Windows Phone 7 very appealing and competitive.”

However, this does not mean HTC will be terminating the manufacture of Windows Classic phones. Chou has insisted that his company sees both the versions of Microsoft’s mobile OS to co-exist in the times ahead.

Meanwhile, HTC is also optimistic on the Android front. While there have been doubts cast on the success of Google’s Nexus One phone, Chou sees the device as a success and feels Nexus One’s innovative design will help HTC garner new business despite how consumers perceive the device.

[Forbes via IntoMobile]

Bing Quick Tabs To Help Organizing Search Results Easier

Microsoft has revealed some upcoming upgrades on its Bing Search engine at the Search Engine Strategies forum in NYC recently. These upgrades are aimed at making the website a better “decision engine” – a phrase that Microsoft coined to help them be number one in an industry heavily dominated by Google.

One of the important features that will make its way to the Bing search results is Quick Tab. This will assort search results into several categories for easier perusal. Also with agreements with Twitter and Facebook in place, Microsoft hopes to bring a real time touch to its results. VentureBeat writes,

“A search on Boston, for example, provides upfront information on weather, attractions and flight deals. Recently signed deals with Twitter and Facebook, help to put more real-time information within search results. And, finally, a map integrated with Foursquare is available that when activated shows local check-in locations and their “mayors” — users who are most active at any one location.”

We wonder if such a classification would work for the several long tail keywords that people search for in a variety of categories.

[via VentureBeat]

Microsoft Seeing China Opportunity Post-Google Exit?

Google has called upon the human rights violations and censorship laws in China as the reason to quit the operations in China. While there have been lots of conspiracy theories woven to understand the exact reason for Google’s withdrawal from one of the major internet markets, the Mountain View based company has nevertheless earned its brownie-points for having taken the decision.

But will this push other American companies to pull out of China? At least Microsoft appears to be taking Google’s pull out as an opportunity to increase the company’s market share for Bing. A company spokesman said,

“We appreciate that different companies may make different decisions based on their own experiences and views. At Microsoft we remain committed to advancing free expression through active engagement in over 100 countries, even as we comply with the laws in every country in which we operate.”

Microsoft’s position is undersandable. Even if Redmond decides to take the courageous step, Google will forever remain in the limelight for having taken the lead in standing against censorship. As in the search engine market, here too, Microsoft would be seen as a company playing second, or perhaps the third fiddle. Besides, there is a lot of opportunity in China that Microsoft is still lured by. All these factors makes Microsoft’s position in China all the more understandable.

[via CNN]

Microsoft OfficeTalk Microblogging Service Takes On Twitter, Yammer

Microsoft has been working on an enterprise microblogging service called OfficeTalk that will network you with your colleagues for strictly corporate discussions. While the service is indeed inspired by Twitter, the service, when it launches, can be more of a threat to Yammer – a Twitter-like service for enterprises.

OfficeTalk is being developed by Microsoft’s OfficeLabs and the company concedes that the service, in its initial stages now, does resemble “other services”.

While the service does fill a critical gap in corporate communications, we wonder why it has to be “under 140 characters or less” – this criterion appears redundant even on Twitter given that the service is no longer dominated by SMS based communication.

What do you think?

[via ReadWriteWeb]

Xbox 360 Console Redesign In The Works

Microsoft may be working to redesign the hardware of its popular gaming console, Xbox 360. Images that have been doing the rounds lately on the Chinese web show the motherboard of the upcoming Xbox 360 that has a relatively smaller motherboard and one which combines computer and graphics processors on a single chip. Also, the chip replaces Microsoft’s proprietary hard drive port with a SATA interface port.

Wait, there is every reason to be sceptical about this whole thing. However, as Kotaku notes,

“Now, considering the source, there’s every reason to be sceptical of the images, and the info. Then again, with Natal due later this year, rebooting the 360 itself to go along with it would make a lot of sense, especially if a reduction in size could come with a reduction incost.”

What do you think? True or False?

[via Kotaku]

No Multitasking, Copy-Paste On Windows Phone 7

Apple has been ridiculed, abused and hated for the lack of critical features like multitasking on the iPhone. However, over the past two years, the company at least brought in copy-paste functionalities to the iPhone.

Now, it seems like a similar story is set to unfold – with Microsoft. Rumors are that Windows Phone 7 that is expected to roll out in the second half of this year will miss clipboard functionalities as well as complete multi-tasking.  Charlie Kendell from the Microsoft Windows Phone app platform says,

“We do not allow third-party applications running on the phone to execute in the background. We’re poised to support it eventually, but in order to support great battery life and great end-user experience, we’re focusing on the integrated experiences first.”

Looks like Microsoft has got the script totally wrong. The iPhone clicked despite its shortcomings because the smartphone was still in its early stages back then. But today (or six months down the lane when WinMo 7 launches), there are a plethora of smartphones available; some with multitasking and clipboard features enabled. Even the iPhone is rumored to be getting its multitasking feature in a couple of months.

Isn’t Microsoft too late to the party?

[via Wired]

HTC Touch Pro3 Launching In Summer

With Windows Phone 7 handsets expected to launch post September, can we expect smartphones running on the older Windows phones to still be churned out in numbers in the mean while? Rumors say so.

According to unsubstantiated rumors, the third iteration in HTC’s Touch Pro series may be launching in the summer of this year and they are expected to launched in Europe by the third quarter of this year. A forum poster on the XDA Developer forum writes

“Just had a dinner with a friend of mine who is the main distributor for HTC in Europe, and he informed that they will receive the first shipment of Touch Pro3’s this summer and they will be on sale in Europe third quarter of this year. This is my main contact for HTC devices and he arranges a Touch Pro2 for me 4 months before it was officially released…He told me that the device will be much smaller and thinner, and soon he will provide me with the evidence including the full specifications. Do you guys think this would be something you would purchase or would you rather wait for the Windows Phone 7?”

What do you think? Is this likely?

[XDA Developers via BGR]

Xbox 360 Games On iPhone Coming Soon?

Will we get to see Microsoft Xbox 360 games coming to the iPhone? Rumors are that we might actually get to see it happening soon; though Microsoft shall not be the protagonist in this story.

Novell, the Massachusetts based software services corporation is expected to unveil its technology that will make it possible for developers to port their Xbox 360 games to the iPhone and possibly, also the Android handsets.

If this happens, then it could be a major setback to Microsoft that has been known to be banking on portablity of  Xbox 360 to its upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform as a viable selling proposition for this mobile OS that is expected to launch in smartphones later this year.

[via PC World]

Google Chrome OS Netbooks May Not Come Cheap

Looks like an open sourced OS alone may not make Google Chrome OS based netbooks cheap and affordable like the MS Windows counterparts. Folks at Netbook Choice write that the netbook being envisioned by the Big G is expected to come with a lot of high end features including high resolution displays, 64GB SSD, integrated 3G modem etc. that purchasing a Windows netbook may work out to be cheaper.

While paying for a higher end device is a no-brainer, it needs to be noted that the platform does not support many ubiquitous software including Microsoft Office which means that you may be buying a higher end device that can actually do lesser.

However, support for software as this is expected to roll out as Chrome OS proliferates which will nevertheless take some time.

[Netbook Choice via Lilitputing]