search en Microsoft Tops 20 Percent of Desktop Search Market for First Time <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/bing.jpg" alt="Bing" title="Bing" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />Search rankings</h3> <p>Have you used Bing lately? An increasing number of people are, and perhaps one day it will earn verb status the way Google has. In the meantime, <strong>Microsoft can celebrate snagging a 20.1 percent share of the search market</strong> as of the end of March, up from 19.8 percent at the end of February. It's also the first time that Microsoft has crossed over the 20 percent mark, according to data provided by comScore.</p> <p>That's still not enough to touch Google, which remained virtually flat at 64.4 percent (down just a sliver from 64.5 percent), though it's a good bit ahead of Yahoo Sites (12.7 percent) Ask Network (1.8 percent), and AOL (1.1 percent). Out of all of them, Microsoft was the only to increase its share -- the rest either didn't budge or dropped by a hair.</p> <p>These numbers don't take into consideration searches conducted from mobile devices, and it's not clear if they include consoles, either. They're <a href="" target="_blank">listed by comScore</a> as being "Desktop Only" from both home and work locations.</p> <p>As far as desktop searches goes, there were 18.9 billion explicit core searches conducted in March, with Google Sites taking the lion's share of them (12.1 billion, up 11 percent), followed by Microsoft (3.8 billion, up 12 percent).</p> <p>It's worth pointing out that Microsoft and Yahoo <a href="">recently amended</a> their 10-year search agreement. It's not yet clear how exactly the revised arrangement will affect search shares of both entities, though if it favors Microsoft, Google may have reason to sweat (just a little).</p> <p>What's <em>YOUR</em> search engine of choice these days? Sound off in the comments section below!</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> aol Ask Bing Google microsoft search Yahoo News Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:55:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 29749 at Microsoft and Yahoo Revise 10-Year Search Agreement <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/yahoo_0.jpg" alt="Yahoo" title="Yahoo" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Amended search partnership gives Yahoo more flexibility</h3> <p>Yahoo search is changing, though you won't notice it right away. As is stands now, Yahoo search is powered by Microsoft's Bing search engine. For the majority, that won't change, though for others, it might. As part of the <strong>new search deal between Yahoo and Microsoft, Yahoo will be allowed to display its own search results and ads for up to half the searches</strong> performed by visitors to its sites and applications.</p> <p>Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer says her and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella have been working together for the past several months to revise the original search agreement, which was put into place in 2009.</p> <p>"This renewed agreement opens up significant opportunities in our partnership that I'm very excited about to explore," Mayer said in a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p> <p>As Mayer explains it, Yahoo will have more flexibility to enhance the search experience on any platform, since the partnership is non-exclusive for both desktop and mobile. She claims that Yahoo will still serve Bing ads and search results for the majority of its desktop traffic.</p> <p>In addition, Microsoft will be in full control of the salesforce for ads delivered by Microsoft's Bing Ads platform, and likewise, Yahoo will remain the exclusive salesforce for its Gemini ads platform. In other words, Yahoo now has the ability to sell search ads to advertisers through Gemini, while Microsoft will begin taking over sales of all ads for Bing search.</p> <p>That's all the companies were willing to share at this time, so we'll have to wait and see how this revised arrangement affects real-world search results.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing microsoft search Yahoo News Thu, 16 Apr 2015 19:56:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 29746 at Microsoft Beefs Up Bing's Image Search Capabilities <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/bing_search_gopro.jpg" alt="Bing Search" title="Bing Search" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" />Online shop from Bing's image search</h3> <p>The search wars are an ongoing thing with plenty of advertising dollars at stake, and if you snooze, well, you lose out on the loot. To keep up with the competition -- namely, Google, the search engine that's also a verb -- <strong>Microsoft paid special attention to Bing's image search functionality and added some new features</strong>, including an online shopping feature that's currently in beta.</p> <p>When you look up a product image in Bing, it will show you where you can buy what you're looking at. Expect some hiccups since it's in beta, but for now, Microsoft says it's focusing on more precisely detecting pages where you can purchase a product, adding more information for each source, and other experience improvements.</p> <p>We tried to give it a test run and were met with limited success. Using the example Microsoft provided in its blog post, we were able to look up Coleman camping tents and see nine different places to buy one online when scrolling down. But when we looked up a GoPro camera and clicked on the picture, no shopping links showed up. That is, until we were more specific -- looking up a GoPro Hero 4 netted better results with links to Best Buy, B&amp;H Photo, Ebay, and half a dozen lesser known sites.</p> <p>Scrolling is the key to the enhanced image search. In addition to buy links, you'll find related searches based on the image, Pinterest collections, more sizes of the image from across the web, and pages with the image where you might be able to obtain more information.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing images microsoft online shopping search News Fri, 10 Apr 2015 16:38:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 29719 at Microsoft Bing Predicted Oscar Results with Surprising Accuracy <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/oscars.jpg" alt="Oscars" title="Oscars" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Just adding to its resume</h3> <p>It's becoming increasingly difficult not to be impressed (or downright spooked) with the prediction engine behind Microsoft's Bing browser. For its latest feat, <strong>Bing successfully predicted most of the top winners for the 2015 Oscars</strong>, correctly identifying 20 of the 24 results for an 84 percent success rate. That alone is impressive, though it's just another notch in Bing's belt when it comes to predicting outcomes.</p> <p>Tapping into Bing's predictions engine, <a href="" target="_blank">Cortana impressed</a> during the World Cup last year by correctly picking 15 out of 16 knockout matches, including Germany's win over Argentina in the final. It's only trip up was selecting Brazil to beat the Netherlands in a rather meaningless third-place match.</p> <p>David Rothschild, an economist in Microsoft Research's New York City lab, developed the prediction model that seems to work so well. It certainly did at the 2015 Oscars, <a href="" target="_blank">correctly predicting</a> the winner for Best Picture (Birdman). The categories it missed include:</p> <ul> <li>Original Screenplay: Picked The Grand Budapest Hotel instead of Birdman</li> <li>Animated Feature: Picked Dragon 2 instead of Big Hero 6</li> <li>Original Score: Picked The Theory of Everything instead of The Grand Budapest Hotel</li> <li>Film Editing: Picked Boyhood instead of Whiplash</li> </ul> <p>This isn't the first time the prediction engine has done well at the Oscars. Last year it correctly picked 21 out 24 Oscar winners, and in 2013, it identified 19 of 24 winners.</p> <p>How is it possible? One thing Rothschild takes into account is public opinion, which he assumes will put pressure on voters. However, he says public opinion is only loosely related to the winners because of the sentimentality involved.</p> <p>"Prediction markets follow a select group of people who have high levels of information on what voters will do and are willing to wager real-money on the outcomes," <a href="" target="_blank">Rothschild says</a>. "And, prediction market-based forecasts have been incredibly accurate."</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing microsoft oscars search technology News Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:12:16 +0000 Paul Lilly 29460 at Bing Your Way to 100GB of Free OneDrive Cloud Storage <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/onedrive_3.jpg" alt="Microsoft OneDrive" title="Microsoft OneDrive" width="228" height="162" style="float: right;" />No credits required for this Bing Reward</h3> <p><strong>Microsoft is giving away (or lending, if you prefer to view it that way) 100GB of OneDrive cloud storage for two years when you sign up for for Bing Rewards</strong>, a free program that rewards you for using Bing (imagine that!). And if you're already a Bing Rewards member, you're eligible as well. There are no points required to cash in on this deal, you just have to stake your claim by February 28, 2015.</p> <p>"No credits required! Get 100GB of OneDrive storage for two years," Microsoft says. "Keep your photos, videos, and documents in one place. Access an share them from all your devices."</p> <p>This is a neat deal even if you don't use Bing. While the intent is to bring more users into its rewards program and ultimately increase Bing's market share, you can claim your 100GB of OneDrive storage immediately after becoming a member and continue using your search engine of choice.</p> <p>If you do decide to keep using Bing, you can earn other rewards, which are typically redeemed by trading in points you've earned simply by searching the web.</p> <p>There are a few caveats with regards to the OneDrive promo. The first is that the free storage is good for two years, though by then, who knows what additional offers will be available. Secondly, there's really no benefit to Office 365 subscribers, who already have access to unlimited OneDrive storage (on an as-needed basis). And finally, the promotion is only available to U.S. residents.</p> <p>You can sign up for <a href="" target="_blank">Bing Rewards here</a>. If you're already a member, <a href="" target="_blank">go here</a> to claim your 100GB.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing Bing Rewards cloud microsoft onedrive search storage News Tue, 10 Feb 2015 14:02:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 29406 at Google Banks Billions on Search, So Why are Investors Concerned? <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_search.jpg" alt="Google Search" title="Google Search" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Search is still Google's primary cash cow</h3> <p>Let's get one thing straight -- most businesses would happily switch places with Google based on the financial figures alone. The sultan of search pulled in $66 billion in revenue for all of 2014, up 19 percent year-on-year. That's thanks in part to a strong finish, with Google reporting consolidated revenues of $18.10 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2014, a jump of 15 percent compared to the same quarter a year prior. <strong>Google's profit in the fourth quarter alone came to $4.76 billion, up from $3.38 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013</strong>, so why are some investors nervous?</p> <p>There are a few reasons. As <em>The New York Times</em> <a href="" target="_blank">points out</a>, Google's net revenue growth in the last three months of 2014 slowed to 10 percent when compared to the same quarter a year ago. That's still not bad from a purely numbers perspective, though behind the curve when compared to recently reported results by two other tech giants, Facebook and Apple.</p> <p>If continuing to nitpick, there are some other red flags, one of them being that the cost-per-click dropped 3 percent sequentially. This is the amount Google can charge advertisers for placing ads on its network, and according to a <a href="" target="_blank"><em>BBC</em> report</a>, the takeaway for investors is that Google is having a tough time raising the price it charges for mobile ads. That's concerning, since consumers are increasingly turning to mobile to access the Internet.</p> <p>The other cause for some concern (from investors) is the lack of a safety net if Google's search business should take a turn for the worse for whatever reason. Revenue from Google's own sites makes up more than two-thirds of its overall business. And though Google has its hands in multiple different areas, like self-driving cars, none of them are big money makers.</p> <p>Google's stock has taken a hit as a result -- it's lost 8.1 percent in the past three months, now trading at around $531. And if you go back to February of last year, it was trending around $609.</p> <p>Much ado about nothing? That might be going too far in the other extreme, though as is often the case when it comes to investors, it might be much ado about little. I've seen these same complaints for years when it comes to dissecting Google (as well as other large tech firms). But the bottom line is Google is still coming out ahead each quarter, and by billions of dollars.</p> <p>You can catch the rest of Google's <a href="" target="_blank">financial report here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> financial report Google revenue search News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:23:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 29340 at Mozilla Deal Propels Yahoo’s U.S. Search Share to Five-Year High <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Mozilla-Yahoo Deal" title="Mozilla-Yahoo Deal" width="228" height="202" style="float: right;" />Yahoo recently replaced Google as the default search provider for Firefox in the U.S.</h3> <p>In November, Yahoo and Mozilla reached an understanding to make Yahoo Search the default search provider for the latter’s Firefox browser in the United States and the results are already out there for all to see. According to the latest U.S. search data from web analytics provider <a href="" target="_blank">Statcounter</a>, <strong>December saw Bing-powered Yahoo Search finish with 10.4 percent share of the U.S. search market</strong>, a significant increase from the 8.4 percent share it held at the start of the month. This is also Yahoo’s highest U.S. search share since 2009.</p> <p>If Statcounter’s data is accurate then it is clear that Yahoo’s gains in December came at the expense of Google, which the <a href="" target="_blank">former replaced as the default search provider for Firefox 34 users in the States</a>. In December, Google’s market share fell from a shade over two percentage points to reach 75.2 percent, its lowest US share since Statcounter first began keeping track of global search statistics in July 2008.</p> <p>But with Mozilla itself having considerable trouble retaining its existing share in the browser market, this sudden spurt in Yahoo’s search share is unlikely to become a long-term trend.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> firefox Mozilla search statcounter u.s. search market Yahoo News Mon, 12 Jan 2015 09:03:06 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29237 at Google Overhauls Transparency Report, Makes Government Takedown Requests Easier to Digest <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_3.jpg" alt="Google" title="Google" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Google's latest transparency report has a new look</h3> <p><strong>Don't be surprised if Google's new Transparency Report for the June through December period in 2013 looks different to you, that's by design</strong>. The search giant explains in a blog post that after doing things the same way for nearly five years, it was time to give its Transparency Report an update. In addition to a new look, there are also some new features that are intended to make the information more meaningful.</p> <p>Google worked with Blue State Digital to help design a more interactive experience that allows the company to include additional information, such as explanations of its process, and to highlight stats.</p> <p>"Our Transparency Report is certainly not a comprehensive view of censorship online. However, it does provide a lens on the things that governments and courts ask us to remove, underscoring the importance of transparency around the processes governing such requests," <a href="" target="_blank">Google said</a>. "We hope that you'll take the time to explore the new report to learn more about the government removals across Google."</p> <p>From June to December 2013, Google said it received 3,105 government requests to remove 14,637 pieces of content. The top three products that governmetns requested removals of were Blogger (1,066 requests), Search (841 requests), and YouTube (765 requests). The majority of government removal requests cited defamation (38 percent) as the reason.</p> <p>You can view the <a href="" target="_blank">new report here</a>.</p> Google government Privacy search takedown requests transparency report News Tue, 23 Dec 2014 17:10:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 29142 at Firefox 34 Arrives with Yahoo as Default Search Engine, Doesn't Switch Automatically <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/firefox_yahoo.jpg" alt="Firefox yahoo" title="Firefox Yahoo" width="228" height="156" style="float: right;" />Mozilla chooses the less obtrusive path</h3> <p>It's the end of the Google era at Mozilla. <strong>Firefox 34 is available to download today</strong>, and with it comes Yahoo as the new default search partner in the U.S. However, don't fret if you're not cool with the change -- Mozilla isn't forcing Yahoo down anyone's throat. If you're content with whichever search engine is currently your default, Firefox will courteously leave it alone, so there's no need to make any changes following today's update.</p> <p>At least that was case when we updated our browser installs. In multiple instances, Firefox left things alone and simply asked if we'd like to switch to Yahoo the first time we fired up the updated build. It's a pretty unobtrusive way of making the transition, especially since it was <a href="" target="_blank">previously reported</a> that Firefox would switch over to Yahoo automatically.</p> <p>Also new to Firefox 34 is the One-Click search functionality. When you type a query into the search field, you'll see a grid of icons appear representing different search engines, like DuckDuckGo, eBay, Bing, and so forth. Just click on any of them to conduct a search for whatever you typed into the field and it will use that search engine without changing your default -- pretty slick.</p> <p>You can find more of what's new in Firefox 34 in the <a href="" target="_blank">release notes</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> browser firefox firefox 34 Mozilla search Yahoo News Tue, 02 Dec 2014 18:12:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 29021 at Microsoft Sends Clip Art into Retirement, Wants You to Use Bing Images <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/clipart.jpg" alt="Clip Art" title="Clip Art" width="228" height="271" style="float: right;" />A casualty of the Internet</h3> <p><strong>Microsoft just shut down its Clip Art library</strong>, and going forward, the company suggests using Bing's image search functionality instead. No problem, most people have already made the transition to web-based image searches when they're in need of a graphic or photographic, just not everyone has been using Bing to hunt down images. In an initial draft of the blog post announcing the change, Microsoft was blunt in saying that usage of the image library in Office has seen a steady decline as users turn towards search engines.</p> <p>Prior to its closure, Microsoft's Clip Art library contained stock pictures of objects, people, animals, scenes, and more. Many were drawn in stick figure form. They were popular additions to school presentations, though as time went on, the rudimentary art became dated.</p> <p>"The Clip Art and image library has closed shop. Customers can still add images to their documents, presentations, and other files that they have saved to their devices (phones, tablets, and PCs), OneDrive, and SharePoint. Customers also still have the ability to add images to their documents using Bing Image Search," Microsoft <a href="" target="_blank">said</a>.</p> <p>Microsoft also provided a bit of guidance on how to track down images that are legal to use. The company points out that Bing Image Search uses a copyright filter based on the Creative Commons licensing system and returns links to sources of images provided.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing clip art images microsoft search News Tue, 02 Dec 2014 17:14:01 +0000 Paul Lilly 29020 at Mozilla Picks Yahoo Over Google as Default Search in Firefox for Next Five Years <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/yahoo_firefox.jpg" alt="Yahoo and Firefox" title="Yahoo and Firefox" width="228" height="202" style="float: right;" />Google will become an alternative choice in Firefox, as will DuckDuckGo</h3> <p>There are few things you can count on in life -- death, taxes, and blowhard analysts incorrectly proclaiming the death of the PC. A year ago, we would have added another entry, one that says Google will be the default search in Firefox until the end of time. No one would question it because the two have been so close for so long, but anything can happen when a contract comes up for renewal. And what happened this time is <strong>Mozilla chose Yahoo to replace Google as its default search provider for the next five years</strong>.</p> <p>It's not entirely clear why Mozilla made the decision to end its long-time relationship with Google, though there are some hints if you read between the lines.</p> <p>"In evaluating our search partnerships, our primary consideration was to ensure our strategy aligned with our values of choice and independence, and positions us to innovate and advance our mission in ways that best serve our users and the Web. In the end, each of the partnership options available to us had strong, improved economic terms reflecting the significant value that Firefox brings to the ecosystem. But one strategy stood out from the rest," Mozilla stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>The very next section in Mozilla's blog talks about "Promoting Choice and Innovation." Going forward, Firefox will do away with having a single <em>global</em> default search provider -- Yahoo will be the default option for searches in the U.S., though not necessarily in other parts of the world. For example, Yandex Search will be the default in Russia and Baidiu will remain the default in China.</p> <p>For Mozilla to be motivated to switch, it's likely Google was either unwilling to budge on being the global default, or offered Mozilla significantly less money to go that route. Either way, Yahoo is giddy as can be over supplanting Google in Firefox, which it hopes will increase its search market share.</p> <p>The reason this matters is two-fold: For one, there are tons of advertising dollars at stake, which makes it highly advantageous to whichever search engine is the default option. And secondly, most of Mozilla's revenue has historically come from these search deals.</p> <p>Yahoo and Mozilla didn't disclose how much the deal is worth, though it's clear Yahoo is the more flexible choice. In addition to supplanting Google, Yahoo will support Do Not Track (DNT) in Firefox. Additionally, remember DuckDuckGo, which was featured in our recent <a href="" target="_blank">search engine scuffle</a>? It's growing up fast and is being added as a built-in alternate search option.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to Yahoo</a>, it's working with Mozilla to build a clean, modern, and immersive search experience that will launch first to Firefox's U.S. users in December, and then to all Yahoo users in early 2015.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> browser duckduckgo firefox Google Mozilla online search News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:46:36 +0000 Paul Lilly 28964 at Use 'Where to Watch' to Search for Legal Video Streaming Options <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/wheretowatch.jpg" alt="Where To Watch" title="Where To Watch" width="228" height="144" style="float: right;" />New video search site points you in the direction of legal feeds</h3> <p>The six member studios of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have put together a <strong>new website that makes it easy to search for legal streaming sources for TV shows and movies. It's called Where to Watch</strong> and it's currently in beta form. It also works rather well for what it's intended to be, which you'll have to excuse us if we seem surprised -- Hollywood studios haven't exactly been streaming's biggest ally.</p> <p>"We created this website to make things easy for you. We have given you a way to access the creative content you love quickly, simply, – legally and in an ad-free environment," the site's <a href="" target="_blank">About Us page </a>reads. "Using our search tool, you can connect to your favorite films and television shows as they become available across a variety of different channels."</p> <p>If you want to fork over information about where you live, Where to Watch will also provide you with theater times and locations for all the newly released movies that are playing nearby. You can also search for availability in stores and at kiosks, as well as watch trailers and see what's happening behind the scens via original content that gets produced on a daily basis.</p> <p>At present, the search site is only available in the U.S. with no word on whether or not there are plans to go international with it. There's also no app available, though the creators say the site was designed to work well with any size device.</p> <p>As for the sources it runs through when looking for legal streaming options, they include Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Flixster, Paramount Movies, Bravo Now, CNBC Full Episodes, E! Now, Esquire TV Now, Oxygen Now, Sprout Now, Syfy Now, ABC, ABC Family, Disney Movies Anywhere, Vudu, Xbox Video, Sundance Now, SnagFilms, Fandor, Wolfe on Demand, Target Ticket, Movies On Demand, Reelhouse, and IndieFlix.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to give it a test drive.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> movies search streaming tv shows videos where to watch News Thu, 13 Nov 2014 20:21:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 28905 at You Haven't Lost Your Marbles, Google Search Results DO Look Different <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_search_ads.jpg" alt="Google Ads" title="Google Ads" width="228" height="163" style="float: right;" />Google changed its search page fonts</h3> <p>Google should have taken a page from The Outer Limits and told anyone with an Internet connection, "There is nothing wrong with your monitor. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling the transmission. If we wish to change the font, we will change the font." And that's exactly what <strong>Google did -- the sultan of search changed its search page fonts</strong>, in part to accommodate an easier way of identifying ad-supported links.</p> <p>The good news is, you're not crazy, things definitely look different and it's not because your cat walked across your keyboard and changed some obscure setting, so stop pulling your hair out trying to find it. If you don't like the new look, the bad news is, once again, it's not a setting on your end, so you're mostly stuck with the new look.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Washington Post</em></a>, not all users are seeing the new look just yet, though it's likely they will soon. It's part of an ongoing effort by Google to make its search results appear simpler and more unified on mobile devices. Google's senior vice president of search gave us all a heads up in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a> last year.</p> <p>In addition to a bigger font size, Google now identifies ad-supported links with a yellow box that says "Ad" underneath a search link. Previously, these links sat on top of a lightly shaded background.</p> <p>Are you seeing the new look? If so, what do you think about the redesign?</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> font Google Internet online search web News Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:04:25 +0000 Paul Lilly 27433 at Rumor: Microsoft May Offer Free Version of Windows 8.1 Bundled with Bing <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_bing.jpg" alt="Bing logo" title="Bing logo" width="228" height="172" style="float: right;" />Would you upgraded to Windows 8.1 if Microsoft gave the OS away for free?</h3> <p>There are some interesting things happening in Microsoft's world right now. The company has a <a href="">new CEO in Satya Nadella</a>, co-founder Bill Gates figures to <a href="">devote more time</a> as Nadella settles into his new role, and there's an update to Windows 8.1 on the horizon. Depending on what impact that update has on Windows 8.1, <strong>some big changes could be in store, including a free version of Windows 8.1 with Bing</strong>. Here's the scoop.</p> <p>We've already heard rumors of Microsoft <a href="">lowering its Windows 8.1 licensing fee</a> by 75 percent to OEMs who install the OS on machines that retail for less than $250. Microsoft employed a similar strategy in the netbook era, though the Redmond outfit may be even more determined to move more copies of Windows 8.1 this time around since it's only sold <a href="">200 million licenses</a> to date. Compared to Windows 7, that isn't all that impressive.</p> <p>Now we're hearing chatter that Microsoft may offer a free version of Windows 8.1 called "Windows 8.1 with Bing." There are two separate reports, one from <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Verge</em></a> and one over at <em><a href="" target="_blank">ZDNet</a></em>. According to the former, Windows 8.1 with Bing would be offered as a free or low-cost upgrade for Windows 7 users, with Microsoft's goal being to increase its userbase.</p> <p>Alternately, the Bing-powered version of Windows 8.1 could end up the hands of OEMs in place of discounted licenses. Both sites report there are likely to be some minor changes associated with the freebie SKU, though what exactly they changes would entail isn't yet known.</p> <p>Image Credit:</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Bing microsoft operating system OS search Software windows 8.1 News Fri, 28 Feb 2014 17:38:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 27363 at Google Inks Deal with EU, Dodges Potentially Hefty Fine <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/european_union.jpg" alt="European Union" title="European Union" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />As one dispute ends, another could open up</h3> <p><strong>Google has reached a settlement with the European Union</strong> that effectively ends an antitrust investigation that had been ongoing for more than three years. Under terms of the deal, Google agreed to alter the search results shown in Europe so that competitor's webpages are "clearly visible" when users look up specialized services such as lodging and restaurants. Going forward, European users will see services of three rivals in the same way that Google shows its own services.</p> <p>The deal won't affect search results in the United States, <em>The Washington Post</em> <a href="" target="_blank">reports</a>. However, let's say a user in Europe looks up a gas grill (the example EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia shared during a news conference today). Two boxes would appear, one that shows Google Shopping results and another that's labeled "Alternatives."</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Reuters</em></a>, Google avoided what could have been up to a $5 billion fine, or 10 percent of its 2012 revenue, by inking this deal, which is valid for the next five years. That's the good news for Google. So what's the bad? The EU may still target Google in a second investigation, this one in relation to Android, though it's unclear exactly what regulators would be looking into.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> antitrust eu Google online search settlement News Wed, 05 Feb 2014 19:30:54 +0000 Paul Lilly 27207 at