Microsoft has touch-optimized its Bing mobile site, allowing owners of the iPhone, Zune HD, Verizon Imagio and other devices to navigate the search engine via their multitouch screens. Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.5, the latest version of its smartphone operating system, also includes touch-screen functionality. The increased popularity of devices such as the iPhone has made touch screens a vital component to consider for developers of mobile software.
Microsoft's newest update to its Bing mobile site is optimized for touch,
capitalizing on the rising trend in smartphones and other devices that rely on
multitouch screens for navigation.
Phones and media players that support this mobile version of Bing currently
include the iPhone, Zune HD, T-Mobile F1, Verizon Imagio and Samsung Omnia,
with Microsoft promising to add support for other devices "over the next
couple of months."
Users can access the updated Bing by directing their mobile browser toward m.bing.com
, or by
heading to Microsoft's Bing for Mobile portal
"Great news for you touch phone owners in the U.S.:
we have a new version of Bing just for high-resolution touch devices,"
Justin Jed, group product manager for Bing Mobile, wrote in an
Oct. 30 posting on the Bing blog
. "We optimized touch navigation to
make the most of your phone."
In addition to touch-screen optimization, the update includes an NFL feature
that displays the latest games, stats and scores; flight status, which lets
users check the latest departure and landing times; and a movies feature for
researching show times, plot overviews, trailers and video clips.
more information on Mobile 6.5's new features, click here.
These new services, however, are U.S.-only for the time being-a fact causing
a bit of ire among the community visiting the Bing blog.
"Why do you continually disregard the rest of the world?" wrote
one commenter. "Why do we matter so little to the Bing team?"
"It's very annoying seeing all these great features while us folk in
the U.K. (and
the rest of the world) are still waiting to see them," wrote another.
In addition to Bing's mobile site, Microsoft has also focused on integrating
increased touch-screen capabilities into Windows Mobile 6.5, its new operating
system for smartphones. Stephanie Ferguson, Microsoft's general manager of
product management, mentioned
in a Sept. 1 post on the Windows Blog that the Microsoft mobile team
dedicated themselves to "making the user interface more touch-friendly and
improving notifications and updates from e-mail, text and calendar items."
Mobile 6.5's touch capabilities include the ability to navigate via taps,
swipes and finger flicks. It also utilizes a new version of Internet Explorer
Mobile that renders Web pages in a manner reminiscent of desktop-style.
While the popularity of the iPhone and similar devices has made multitouch
an increasingly hot proposition for smartphones, touch screens have also been
expanding beyond traditional niche segments such as engineering and into the
At the Windows 7 launch, Microsoft heavily promoted its PC manufacturing
partners' touch-screen technology, showing off devices that let users navigate
their desktop by tapping icons and buttons. Microsoft
and its partners currently have applications in development that include a few
games and multimedia creation.