The 87th Academy Awards won't air until Feb. 22, but Microsoft believes it already knows who's walking home with an Oscar.
Keeping up its tradition of predicting the outcomes of awards, televised competitions and sporting events, Bing now delivers its picks for Sunday's winners when users conduct Oscar-related searches on the site.
"Whether you're a movie buff, red carpet watcher or just love the spectacle of the show, we've put together an interactive guide that puts everything Oscars at your fingertips," said Microsoft in a blog post.
The guide includes a printable Oscars ballot, and of course, Bing's best guesses on whom the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will bestow the coveted award. Potential spoilers ahead.
In the Best Picture category, Birdman is the frontrunner, with a 37 percent chance of winning, followed by Boyhood, with 33 percent. American Sniper and The Grand Budapest Hotel are both tied at 12 percent. Selma, The Imitation Game, Whiplash and The Theory of Everything round out the category.
For Best Actor and Best Actress, The Theory of Everything's Eddie Redmayne and Still Alice's Julianne Moore are favored to beat out their fellow nominees. The Best Director nod is expected to go to Boyhood's Richard Linklater, with a 45 percent chance of winning.
Only time will tell if Bing made the right call, but the company's predictive analytics tech has a fairly strong track record.
During the last U.S. election cycle, Bing correctly predicted the vast majority of the races (Senate, House and governorships), besting experienced and well-regarded profile analysts. "We weren't perfect, but we are proud to report that we got it right in more than 95 percent of the races—and we did better head-to-head than renowned forecasters, including Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight," stated the Bing Predictions and Elections group in a Nov. 10 blog post. Bing performed similarly well in last summer's World Cup games in Brazil.
In another Hollywood-themed post, Mike Gilbert, Bing Maps' principal lead program manager, announced the addition of several new 2D and 3D cities and Streetside locations—the company's answer to Google Street View—including many Los Angeles locales. Users can explore iconic movie-making spots in the area (and beyond), including the Hollywood Sign.
"Located near Mount Hollywood and Griffith Park, the Hollywood sign has an interesting history and was never meant to represent the motion picture industry," wrote Gilbert. Overhead images of the Sepulveda Dam Spillway and Universal Studios back lot also await. Further east, visitors can take in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which movie buffs will recognize as the "home to the iconic scene from Rocky, where Sylvester Stallone charges the steps to the unforgettable sounds of 'Gonna Fly Now' by composer Bill Conti."
This month, eleven new 2D and 3D cities make their debut, including the Dayton, Ohio; Edison, N.J.; and Norfolk, Va., metro regions. Overseas locations include Naples, Italy, and Pamplona, Spain. Hundreds of new ZIP codes have been added to Bing Maps Streetside, covering several cities and towns in Arizona, California, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.