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New Bing Maps and Bing Mobile Beta Available

December 2, 2009

Microsoft has taken the wraps off its new Bing features today at a private event full of Microsoft search execs.

Company officials detailed new features including entity cards, task pages and Silverlight maps. Microsoft first demonstrated the features to company employees during September and many dubbed it “Bing 2.0” as a result.

Bing Maps Silverlight

Starting today, you can now access Bing Maps via a Silverlight intwerface which is tagged as a beta product. To get to the new maps, head over to bing.com/maps/explore. The Silverlight version includes a much smoother experience, 360 degree birds-eye view and “Streetside” which is Microsoft’s answer to Google’s street view. Microsoft has also built in a “what’s nearby” feature that highlights information about restaurants, shops, parking etc that is near a users location. The Streetside feature is a collaboration between Microsoft Research, Live Labs and the core maps team. Microsoft is also introducing Photosynths generated by the community at large to be integrated into maps on Bing. You can test this new feature by searching for the ‘metropolitan museum of art in New York City’. Enable Photosynths by clicking on the orange arrow in the bottom of the left pane. Choose the Photosynth map app and then click through to explore the museum in amazing detail.

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Bing Mobile client

Microsoft also announced a new mobile client for Bing that will install on 25 different devices. The mobile application works on Windows Mobile devices and some Verizon wireless handsets. The client includes voice support to allow users to search hands free. For devices that do not support the full mobile client Bing have built a web interface that supports devices such as the iPhone. You can also quickly access maps, driving directions and traffic information using the mobile client. Head on over to Bing Mobile for more details.

If you’re interested in the full details of all the new Bing features then go to Behind Bing where Microsoft has kindly produced video overviews of each of the new features.

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Do you like the new Bing updates? Leave a comment!

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