Want to know more about Bing? Live webcast on June 1, 2009 @10:00AM Pacific Daylight Time

Want to know more about Microsoft’s new Bing? Then take a look at the new Bing Interactive Product Guide, the Virtual Press kit (filled with screen shots, fact sheets and more)

Microsoft Unveils Bing – A New Search Decision EngineOn Monday, you’ll have a chance to learn even more in a live, interactive webcast where you will see examples of Bing and can ask the Bing team questions. This courtesy of Stefan Weitz over at Bing:

Want more Bing?  How about an interactive Webcast where we’ll walk you through all the cool features in our new decision engine.  Sure you could read the Product Guide (located here) but that would require, you know, reading.  Better just to watch. 

Plus, while you can talk to the Product Guide it likely won’t respond (and if it does let us know – I thought we fixed that bug).   Our webcast will let you interact with the presenter by asking questions throughout the session!

How do you join in the fun?  Three easy steps:

1) Set your alarm clocks for 10AM Pacific Daylight Time, Monday, June 1. 

2) Point your browser to (I’d do this before 10AM just to make sure you’ve got what you need to watch the stream)

3) Sit quietly and watch the ‘cast OR engage by typing questions in the player.

That’s it!  Tell your friends.  Tell your neighbors.  Tell people you don’t even know.  Post it on Facebook. The Bing Webcast– no prompters, no scripts, 100% danger.

Tags: Microsoft, webcast, Bing, Search, Clubhouse, Bing, Search, Windows Live, webcast

Bookmark and Share

Also available via


Live Search Books and Academic projects winding down

Satya Nadella announced today that we are ending the Live Search Books and Live Search Academic projects — together accounting for 750,000 digitized books and 80 million indexed journal articles — and the sites will be taken down next week.

“This also means that we are winding down our digitization initiatives, including our library scanning and our in-copyright book programs. We recognize that this decision comes as disappointing news to our partners, the publishing and academic communities, and Live Search users.

“Given the evolution of the Web and our strategy, we believe the next generation of search is about the development of an underlying, sustainable business model for the search engine, consumer, and content partner.”

This follows the announcements this week to focus on high commercial offerings and the new Live Search Cashback where you can get money back on purchases. (See Todd Bishop’s article in the Seattle PI for his perspective.

I think that the decision makes sense, and allows the Live Search team to focus on core competencies, but may require some direction and guidance to the publishers looking to digitize and index content so that users can access content via Live Search.  IMHO, it’ll likely take some funding, too, as I don’t see this being a core service of many libraries: will libraries see the benefit in making the investment and taking on the work?

More at Live Search : Book search winding down


Back on the Customer Satisfaction blog

Back on the blog, after being AWOL the last week or so unexpectedly.

Last week I was out of the office and off the broadband loop due to a death in the family. Why is this important for the blog you ask? One of the reasons I do what I do was in part related to the relative who left this mortal coil, and the impact he had on me as a customer and consumer of our products.

It sounds silly, but it’s true.

My wife’s uncle was a warm-hearted and friendly person. He was open and thoughtful, and more than anything loved to keep in touch with his family. One of the ways he accomplished this was via email and the Web, and he was a consumer and user of our products. I was amazed that this man in his 70’s was so proficient on mail, and used it regularly. For me, he was also a great source of feedback when it came to our products, what people were using to share pictures and the trouble that many people of retirement age run into when using new technology products. From him, I took away valuable insight on the difficulty of navigating site logins, Windows error messages, network configurations and choosing the right peripheral for the job.

Oh yes, and I also found him a great voice of reality when it came to many of the things we take for granted, like sharing photos on the web. Something that should be a fairly straight-forward process of sharing family photos turned out to be one of those things that required the intervention of a younger person (his son) to set up and view the photos we posted to a popular, free sharing site, as well as on our MSN Spaces. I think that we were able to get him on to our photo site after two or three attempts and a couple of tutorials.

This wasn’t due to the fact that there was a configuration or systems problem: it was because the user experience wasn’t straight forward enough.

Everyday it seems that people forget that when you’re knee deep in high-tech, software and services, we live in Oz: the streets are gold in the Emerald city (that’s Seattle), that we all know how to use all of our various products, we remember all the sites to get more information and how to configure our systems remotely. Sometimes, people forget that there are so many customers living in Kansas (or a small town in Florida, as was our late uncle’s case for the winter months) who have a hard enough time figuring out how to manage their computer back-ups, network security and protect themselves from ever-present phishers and pirates.

What I have been impressed with is that at MS, we have many people who know what it’s like to be a customer and a partner – we’ve certainly hired enough of them in the last few years (I’ve been both in the corp world, for 17+ years prior to coming to MS five + years ago). Many new and old employees know and remember what it’s like to run into a software glitch, a poorly designed dialogue or get yet another confusing message, and they work hard to make sure we fix the problem when we run into it or many times fix the issue before it leaves Redmond.

I’ll spend more of my entries over the next few weeks highlighting some cases where we have been doing well, some of the areas where we’ve fixed issues, and some areas where we have room for improvement. If there are products or areas that you’d like to see highlighted, please let me know, either by email or comments: I monitor the feedback on my blog (and so much of it is spam, I don’t allow it to be posted without review).

For now, I need to go and talk to my 8-yr old over dinner about how he’s using the Office Live beta for his summer art project.


Tags: , , , .

Bookmark this on Delicious Bookmark and Share

Also available via