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Microsoft once enjoyed dominance with the popularity of PCs and its Windows operating system which gained a huge install base. Microsoft are also known for their extremely popular Xbox gaming consoles. Lately though, does it seem like Microsoft have somewhat lost their way lately with the recent acquisition of Nokia and their failing presence in the smart phone market?

Microsoft Bing

One thing that Microsoft has been doing right is Bing. Bing has made huge improvements as of late and is definitely a viable search engine for a lot of users. There have been more and more features and improvement’s added as of late which really make it great to use. With the recent announcement that  Microsoft and Twitter are making Bing a better social search engine, it’s yet another reason to start checking out Bing as a viable option for search:

“Bing enables users to search trending hashtags, Twitter handles, and celebrity-related tweets. The update builds upon an existing exclusive deal signed back in November 2013 that integrated some tweets into search results”.

Bing seems to be one place where Microsoft are making great improvements and they should definitely continue to focus on adding unique features to it’s search engine that captures a niche of users that like what Bing offers over Google. It’s not quite time to ignore Google search, but for a lot of features Bing is being more frequently used by many as of late.

Microsoft, smartphones and their mobile OS

Microsoft hasn’t really made the splash that I’m sure was intended when we first heard about their Windows Phone. Their mobile operating system has been pretty lacklustre since launch lacking features that iPhone and Android users have been enjoying for literally years. Even today, app folders still aren’t a feature on Windows phones. Prior to this, even copy and paste was introduced extremely late as well as their basic notification menu.

It was surprising to hear that Microsoft had purchased Skype some time ago yet even more surprising to find that they didn’t have an official native app for a long time even after purchasing the company. The following was taken from Wikipedia:

“Curiously, Microsoft does not provide changelog information for Skype on its own mobile platform, despite the fact that it does on Android, a competitor platform. However, an investigation showed that, in fact, the Skype app for Windows Phone is regarded as a “work in progress” and not a finished product”.

This just shows inconsistency and maybe a lack of confidence. Windows Phone and the mobile OS seem to be all over the place with many popular apps that are present on other platforms completely missing or lacking functionality on the Windows Phone platform.

After hearing the surprising news that Microsoft would be purchasing Nokia for $7.2 billion, it was even more surprising (again) to hear that they would be ditching their Windows OS and switching to competitor platform Android on its new X2 device.

With the recent negative customer reviews of Windows 8 and Metro, it really is hard to see what Microsoft is trying to do with their operating system. It seems like they initially wanted to make their OS more ‘mobile friendly’ but unfortunately it was to the detriment of desktop users as the same features were somewhat forced onto those users  which were unwanted according to online reviews.

What’s next for Microsoft? Is Bing the future?

Hopefully we will see less of Microsoft running back and forth between ideas and stick to what they are good at. Currently, Bing is progressing nicely and has some great map features that you can’t find in other similar solutions. Hopefully Microsoft won’t become the next Nokia failing to get with the times and sticking to their older ideas and not fully utilising the needs of a more modern audience.

Image credit – Microsoft 

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