Microsoft has big plans for Bing, and one of those plans is to use the search service's 'entity engine' to link all your favourite apps. If you've got your LinkedIn account already authorised with Bing, for example, searching for someone's name will bring up their LinkedIn data and your association with them. That's just the first step.
TechCrunch sat down with Microsoft's search engine boss Derrick Connell to discuss the future of Bing, not just as a search engine but also as a 'do engine' — enabling its users to use search to directly access their associated apps and services and carry out useful, meaningful tasks. Booking a table through OpenTable after finding a restaurant listing is one example mentioned (that's already possible through both Bing and Google); paying your bills, booking movie tickets and ordering groceries might be next. Tying in your Windows and Windows Phone apps is the future for Bing, as long as Microsoft gets enough big-name contributors on board.
With Windows 8.1, the Xbox One and its other platforms, Microsoft has a huge userbase of Bing users — even if they don't know they're using Bing — that upgrading its entity engine and tied-in apps will benefit. There's a long road ahead in terms of Bing's development and future innovation, but Connell points out that Microsoft's mix of private citizens and big-business enterprises are all set to benefit. Give it a few years and Bing just edge out Google. [TechCrunch]