Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 continue to move closer together today, as the Bing team brings a set of its applications to the smartphone platform. Today Microsoft announced that Bing’s Finance, Sports, Weather, and News apps have now landed on Windows Phone 8.
If you are familiar with their Windows 8 counterparts, you understand the substance of what Bing has today brought to Microsoft’s modest, yet growing, smartphone platform. You can snag the News app here, Finance here, Sports here, and Weather here.
Microsoft isn’t overly specific about which markets the applications will be available for download in, stating only that “[f]eatures and content may vary by country.” However, if you are in a major market on a Windows Phone 8 device, I suspect that you will be just fine.
It will be interesting to see if Microsoft begins to bake the above applications into later builds of Windows Phone itself; the applications’ Windows formats ship stock on Windows 8 devices, for example.
To put the above into context, this is a bit more than the simple addition of a few new applications to the Windows Phone Store. Instead, it illustrates that Microsoft is dedicated to clawing out real market share for Windows Phone: If it doesn’t have its own mobile platform, services that wish to have a mobile presence will have to do so on the platforms of others.
Therefore, if Microsoft wants Bing and its associated products and services to have market share in a meaningful way, controlling its own platform is perhaps the simplest and best way to do so. Thanks to Windows Phone’s efforts over the past few years, Bing now has an expanded home in the mobile space.
Also, it is always good to note when Microsoft better harmonizes Windows and Windows Phone, helping the company move closer to an all-but-completely unified Windows user experience across any screen.
Top Image Credit: Vernon Chan