That Bing you do: New Microsoft platform goes to work by translating tweets
Twitter is putting Microsoft’s Bing translation tech to the test in recent experiments. More Bing-powered applications could be on the horizon following Microsoft’s platform announcements last week.
photo: Shutterstock user pistolseven
Microsoft’s Bing search engine may trail Google’s — Microsoft has 17 percent core search marketshare compared to Google’s 66 percent — but the Redmond, Wash.-based giant might as well make the most of what it’s got. Last week Microsoft executives announced Bing-as-a-platform initiative, and already the approach has caught some interest from Twitter.
The microblogging site is experimenting with the use of Bing’s translation capabilities in serving up translated tweets along with the short messages in their original languages, AllThingsD reported Monday.
The experiment wasn’t exposed to me during a search for all tweets on Oracle and Salesforce.com, although that might be a matter of the feature being rolled out to a small percentage of Twitter users at the moment. During the search, tweets about the companies’ unlikely partnerships from last week surfaced in French, German, Japanese and Spanish.
I wondered what those tweets said, and what better way to find out than plug it into
Google Translate the Bing Translator? Working in translation to the current Twitter timeline saves users the hassle of going offsite, if even for a few seconds.
If developers think this sort of tweak could please their customers, Bing could become a lot more visible as a web-service enhancer in the near future. In addition to the translation tool, Microsoft has announced APIs for converting text to speech, providing synonyms and delivering search results. Plus, an entity API for letting developers easily incorporate information on people, places and things is on the way. The trouble is, Google is no slouch when it comes to exposing maps, search and other services for external use. It’s hard to imagine that the company would let Microsoft get away with winning developers’ hearts without teasing some new services making use of Google’s search capabilities.
Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock user pistolseven.
By Jordan Novet