Microsoft’s search engine just got a bit better for people who use one of the major mobile operating systems, but not for people who use Microsoft’s own OS.
Now, when users go to m.bing.com, if they’re on an Android or iOS device, it will be loaded with the power of HTML5, with optimized load times and a couple new features.
For example, real-time transit directions will now appear for those searching from Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and Los Angeles. So if you punch in “SFO airport,” you’ll now instantly get transit directions from where you are, and the information will be in real-time with notification of any delays.
The image search section of the site was also optimized for HTML5, with minor tweaks added to the interface. And now, if Bing thinks you might be curious about the current weather conditions in a city, it will present those to you before you even finish typing your search query.
It’s all part of Bing’s increasing strategy to put pressure on Google and make itself more of a feature-rich experience than traditional, text-result searches.
The only rub is that Windows Phone 7 doesn’t support HTML5. Yet. That won’t happen until later this year, so even those with the most current Microsoft device won’t get to see the fruits of Microsoft’s labor.
Of course, the Bing team at Microsoft is probably in a completely different side of the corporate campus than the mobile team, so they have their own agendas.
This came to light late last year, when Microsoft released a few mobile apps for Android and iOS, but not Windows Phone 7. Microsoft said they were developed by Bing, sort of as a promotional tool for those using other platforms, but WP7 users still felt shunned that Microsoft was investing resources in other mobile platforms instead of its own.