Microsoft Unveils Software Development Kit For Bing

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft wants its Bing search engine to go everywhere.

The tech giant, which launched the browser to much fanfare and surprisingly good reviews earlier this year, is making another move to horn in on the mighty Google's search business.

Earlier this summer, Microsoft targeted Google by joining forces with (and supplanting) Yahoo's search engine, thereby claiming one-third of the search engine market. Google still reigns supreme with approximately 65 to 70 percent of all search traffic, but this time Microsoft is targeting Google and Apple at the personal level.

To date, Google has handled virtually all search engine traffic on the popular mobile device by virtue of its own free app and its support for Apple's Safari web browser, which comes bundled with all iPhones and includes a Google search bar. Users can change their settings to activate a Yahoo search bar, but Bing is soon to claim all that traffic anyway.

But more than that, Microsoft is now giving developers the power to include a Bing search bar in any iPhone app or from just about anywhere on a computer with a new open-source software development kit, or SDK.

The Bing SDK will let developers add Bing functionality to any app, which raises the possibility that Apple might block its entry to the App Store. Apple and AT&T drew widespread criticism when Apple rejected Google's Voice app. In that case, online reports indicated that the Google Voice app lets users circumvent their phone contracts with AT&T by giving them the ability to make cheap phone calls and send text messages.

But in this case, apps that include Bing search features will probably mass Apple's muster, mainly because Steve Jobs' empire has already allowed apps that include Bing's maps feature.

"Microsoft and Apple are fierce rivals, but it’s great to see Microsoft creating an open source SDK to give developers more options for the iPhone and Mac apps," TechCrunch.com's MG Siegler said. "Bing has been making a lot of smart moves since its launch earlier this year. Now, hopefully Apple doesn’t pull any funny business in the app approval process for apps that use Bing."

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