Microsoft enlists Bing to enhance Windows 8.1 apps

Microsoft has launched a portal to help developers incorporate Bing functionality into their own apps

By , IDG News Service |  Networking

Pall also demonstrated how the OCR service can be linked with the new Translator Control, which can translate the text among 40 different languages. He showed off the new text-to-speech control, which provides a way for users to issue commands to their apps vocally, as well as have the apps respond vocally.

"In the coming decade, apps will have eyes, ears and will have a mouth," Pall said.

The company also unveiled some new services that could be used to build immersive or augmented reality interfaces showing users what is around them.

The Bing Entity API, which will be available to developers within the next few months, identifies nearby landmarks and types of businesses that apps can use to offer location-specific information to their users. Microsoft has also released a SDK (software development kit) that shows developers how to embed Bing maps and 3D aerial views of places into their apps. Bing can also provide mapping, routing, and traffic information for these maps as well.

The site also offers APIs for executing Bing searches, for finding synonyms, for tracking website usage and for populating an app or website with ads.

According to Microsoft, Bing executes about 17.4 percent of all searches conducted in the U.S.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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