Microsoft's Bing is boosting its feature set with detailed airport maps for travelers.
Microsoft, seeking to increase the appeal of its Bing search
engine with ever-more-specific services, is offering detailed airport maps for
"The new airport maps give you everything you need to
navigate your way through your travels," read a Sept.
on the Bing Community blog. "Airport maps include information on
parking garages, ticket counter information, terminals and gates, baggage
claims, currency exchange and more." That -more' includes a directory of
eateries and airlines.
Via the desktop version of Bing, users can access this map
by typing the name of the airport into Bing Maps and then zooming into the
building itself, or searching for their flight status on Bing and then clicking
on the map icon visible alongside the airport listing.
Bing is kicking off this service with 42 airports in the
United States, with plans to add more over time.
When you combine Bing's search engine market share with that
of Yahoo, which agreed to let Microsoft power its backend search apparatus, then
it owns roughly one-third of that market. Google controls the other
While Bing lags Google in terms of broader market
numbers, it remains a pillar of Microsoft's increasingly cloud-centric
corporate strategy. Because of that, Microsoft continues to add new features to
the engine: on Sept. 23, for example, it announced the launch of Bing Deals, a
Website that aggregates more than 200,000 deals from the likes of Groupon,
LivingSocial, Nordstrom and Target.
In order to further differentiate itself from Google, Bing
has also begun deeply integrating Facebook features into search. When users
search for a specific person, for example, Bing now presents Facebook
information on the search-results page; if they're traveling to a new city,
such as Tokyo, Bing will tell you which Facebook friends live there. The social
network's increasingly ubiquitous "Like" button also makes an appearance in
"Decisions don't get made on rationality alone," Bing
director Stefan Weitz told eWEEK
in a May interview. "People ask other people
for information. Eighty percent of the people making a purchase online will
delay that decision until they ask someone else."
That Facebook integration, and a heavy focus on targeted
services such as airport maps, are but a few of the ways that Microsoft hopes
to keep Bing battling toe-to-toe with Google.
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