Bing homepage gets 31 holiday-themed surprises for each day of December

Bing has kicked off its holiday celebrations, adding 31 holiday-themed surprises to its homepage.
Each day in December is marked with a small box that includes either a new holiday-themed decoration or music to customize the Bing homepage, a feature or image that can be shared via social feeds, a winter-themed game, or information about one of the following six nonprofits Microsoft supports: Code.org, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Mercy Corps, Special Olympics, City Year, and Global Citizen.
We’ll be highlighting these organizations on special days in the Bing holiday homepage calendar throughout the month and asking our users to share their support for these amazing nonprofits and the work they do by sharing the message we’ve provided when you click on these special giving days from the calendar.Bing Search Blog
Bing started its 31 days of holiday-themed surprises by introducing Mercy Corps, an organization that, “…helps people overcome crisis and build better lives around the world.”

Since Friday, Bing’s holiday-themed

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Bing gets smart: adds trivia, quizzes & polls

Bing wants to pull more users via its homepage, and is using trivia to do it.
Last month, the site began posting trivia questions in place of “hotspots” on Bing.com. The trivia questions relate to Bing’s image of the day and display when you hover over the graduation cap icon now showing on the homepage.

Answering the trivia question will launch a three-question quiz at the top of a search results page for whatever the correct answer is. The quiz interface lists the correct answer, further info on the topic and the option to answer the next question.

In addition to the daily quizzes, Bing also has a weekly news and trends quiz that it posts on Fridays which can be found in the “Popular Now” carousel that runs across the bottom of its homepage.
Bing Rewards members can earn credit by taking the quizzes, and quiz scores can be shared on social sites.
Senior managing editor Kristen Kennedy

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Bing confirms testing Twitter results in search results listings

A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed with Search Engine Land that they are indeed testing displaying tweets, Twitter results, in the Bing search results pages. This was first reported this morning by Ruben Gomez during his testing.
Bing is using a carousel box, similar to how Google shows tweets in their search results, to include these tweets in the Bing search listing page.
Here is a picture from Ruben:

This is what it looks without the Twitter results:

A Microsoft spokesperson told us, “We’re constantly updating and refining the Bing search experience. We’ll share more information when available.”
The post Bing confirms testing Twitter results in search results listings appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Bing Adds Lottery & Powerball Numbers To Search Results

Bing announced you can now check to see if your lottery ticket matches the winning lottery numbers just by searching Bing.com. Weeks ago, both Bing and Google failed at showing lottery numbers in their search results.
Now you can search for [powerball] or [california lottery] or similar keywords on Bing to pull up the quick answer box to show the winning lottery numbers for that specific lottery.
Here is a screen shot:

Just to be clear, Google Mexico does support Mexican lottery number winnings, but they do not support US-based lotteries yet.
Bing will also show you information about the lottery network and related lotteries so you can diversify your lottery odds.
The post Bing Adds Lottery & Powerball Numbers To Search Results appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Bing Brings The Holidays Home With Snow, Lights & Jingle Bells On Its Homepage

Since partnering with NORAD to power its Santa Tracker earlier this month, Microsoft has now added special holiday effects to the Bing homepage.
Clicking on the small red gift icon in the bottom right corner of Bing’s homepage image launches a set of options to add frosted snowflake edges, Christmas lights and the sound of jingle bells to the page.
Bing Homepage Holiday Effects

Bing shared its homepage holiday effects in an announcement listing a number of other holiday-related searches, including holiday music, movies, recipes and kid-friendly craft projects.
The post Bing Brings The Holidays Home With Snow, Lights & Jingle Bells On Its Homepage appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Bing Sounds Off – Adds Audio To Homepage

Bing announced today it has added audio to its homepage.
Using video footage of geese taking flight, Bing’s search blog highlighted how users now can turn on sound for the homepage with an audio icon located in the lower right corner of the screen in line with the video controls.
Over time, we’ve evolved the way we tell stories about our world. In 2011, we released our first HTML5 video homepage. The following year, we enabled users to dive deeper with an interactive panoramic homepage. Then our fans shared that they would love to hear rushing waterfalls, distinct animal calls, or waves lapping the shores of a faraway beach when they see these evocative images on Bing.Bing Search Blog
The audio option is turned off by default, and will not necessarily be part of every homepage. (The announcement notes that users should look for the audio icon to find out if sound has been included for the day.)

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For Task Completion, Cortana Now Integrates More Deeply With Apps

It’s fascinating to consider whether and how “destination search” and virtual assistants will interact in the future. In the case of Microsoft’s assistant Cortana, search is like the “Intel inside.” But Cortana is a much broader and more versatile tool than conventional search.
With Windows 10 Cortana is coming to the PC. Indeed Bing’s Director of Engineering Mike Calcagno sees Cortana as a kind of ambient UI that will be screen-agnostic or screen-independent in the future. Microsoft is betting on Cortana as a differentiator across screens and platforms.
At this week’s Build developer conference Microsoft announced deeper app integration into Cortana. As with Siri and Google, Cortana can launch apps. However Microsoft is also seeking content integration into Cortana so that tasks may be completed in the Cortana UI without necessarily launching the app in question.
Here’s one of the examples Microsoft provides in a blog post:
When integrating with Cortana, an application can choose to get launched or choose to

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