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Bing bong! Microsoft joins the cloud search race

Posted By TelecomTV One , 18 April 2012 | 0 Comments | (0)
Tags: cloud open source developers search Microsoft bing Azure Amazon

Microsoft puts its Bing search engine into its Azure cloud, and spins out its open source activities into a new company. Guy Daniels reports.

No sooner had Amazon announced its new CloudSearch service for apps developers who use its AWS cloud offerings, than Microsoft goes and puts its Bing search engine in its Azure cloud. The race is one.


To be fair, the two approaches are rather different. Whilst Amazon’s cloud search approach requires that all searchable documents or data be placed on its cloud platform, Microsoft’s cloud search approach targets the whole web. So within a mobile application, an event that triggers an Amazon CloudSearch will only find results from co-hosted documents, whereas a similar search using the Bing API will find results from the entire web.


The Bing Search API will now be available on the Windows Azure Marketplace, where developers can purchase cloud data sets, apps, and services, including the Microsoft Translator API. However, the Bing Search API had been available to developers for free, enabling them to use search data in their applications. Now though, they’ll have to pay. Monthly subscriptions start at $40 for up to 20,000 search queries each month.

However, developers using more than 3 million queries a month get more favourable terms (hopefully somewhat less than $6k a month…)


Microsoft’s Bing Developer blog says that developers will now have access to fresher results, improved relevancy, and more opportunities to monetise their usage of the Bing Search API, once the transition to the Azure Marketplace is complete. The bottom line is that the major players are now charging developers to use a hosted cloud service, and selling their valuable search abilities as a service.


Incidentally, the $40 charge from Microsoft works out to be comparable with what Google chargers developers for search access – $5 per 1,000 queries.


Meanwhile, Microsoft has announced that it is spinning off its open source unit to create Microsoft Open Technologies. The new company aims to advance Microsoft’s investment in ‘openness’ – including interoperability, open standards and open source. Writing on Microsoft’s Interoperability blog this week, the company’s new president (and open source veteran) Jean Paoli said:


“Microsoft Open Technologies is further demonstration of Microsoft’s long-term commitment to interoperability, greater openness, and to working with open source communities. This structure will make it easier and faster to release open source software, participate in existing open source efforts, and accept contributions from the community.”


Paoli, one of the creators of the XML open standard, said that thousands of open standards are currently supported by Microsoft and many open source environments including Linux, Hadoop and Drupal run on its platform.


Speaking to the RWW site, Paoli explained that we operate in a mixed IT world, and the goal is to provide customers with even more choice to bridge Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies


“All our customers expect the software they use will work in a heterogeneous environment. Customers expect their phone to connect to any cloud device; if you cannot receive your email on your phone, well, that's not good, irrespective of which phone or which cloud or which operating system they are connected to.”

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