Bings got an iBug? – Problems with Bing on iPhone?

or, Its all bing going wrong at Xmas?

Microsoft, the industry leader who has seen its fair share of bad news in the last few months is now experiencing problems with its scheme of bringing Bing to the iPhone.  iBing was released on the 16th December which for Microsoft was good news and the usual Microsoft excitement rolled into action with Justin Jed making these comments in regards to its touted feature “voice search”

Our investments in voice search (you may have played with them on Windows phones or BlackBerry already) continues in our iPhone App…

Great news so far?  Yes?…..Well no.

It took one day for some cracks to show in iBing when Microsoft said:

we’ve also heard about a couple of issues that we’d like to address….

Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that they were refering to a couple of minor bugs of little consequence.  So lets look at what the couple of “issues” actually are:

Using voice search outside the U.S. crashes the app.

In my opinion thats a little more than an “issue” is that not a major flaw?  Well IMO according to Microsoft its not, as the “issues” continue:

App doesn’t work on 1st generation iPod Touch

Ok, so having a first generation iPod Touch means the app is useless, ok. In my opinion slightly more than an “issue” but lets carry on.  Readers to this blog may question why Microsoft said iBing has a “couple” of issues when we are getting to our third one.  I can’t answer that.  I should maybe contact the Bing team and explain that a “couple” usually suggests two.

No search results outside the U.S.

So in my opinion what Microsoft are really saying (when you cut through the softening and PR) is:

If you live outside of the US or have a 1st generation Ipod Touch, iBing doesn’t work.

Need we say more?  Is this really the release Microsoft or the Bing team wanted?  Im sure Google will be worried. 😉 The blog post for these is here. The one thing that has surprised me here though is there does not seem to be any blaming….yet.   So since there is no 3rd party blame (yet) does that mean its Microsoft’s fault? 😉 I doubt it.

Keeping this all in mind though it was interesting to see a user called Brianm76 making the following comment on the Bing blog:

i am experiencing crashes at least 50% of the time when i search either by typing or through voice search and i am in the us with my settings set to us.  i experience a crash each time i use photo search and so do 2 of my co-workers with iphones.

But then maybe they just haven’t found the US bugs yet as a result of “listening to early good reports” [1] 😉

Microsoft now parasitic?

This Bing news comes off the back of the reports that Motzilla is allegedly talking about Bing as being more “private” than Google, news which Microsoft must have been happy about since their own browser market share is being eaten up by Firefox (IMO).  If FF is to become the browser of the future then Microsoft will want at least a little piece of that.  Is Microsoft now happy to settle for the scraps that fall off the table of Mozilla too?

You can read more on the story of Mozilla and Bing here.  But lets consider for a moment the act of Microsoft developing products for other platforms.  Theres no doubt in the popularity of iPhone so is Microsoft settling for whatever scraps fall from Apple’s table?  I would say so, one only has to look at previous deployments of WinMob to see peoples opinions of that platform.  I myself suffered WinMob on an MDA Mail for a while, a shocking experience which almost convinced me that a mobile phone was not fit for purpose for anything other than phone calls.

Lets look at a definition of Parasitism:

is a type of symbiotic relationship between two different organisms where one organism, the parasite, takes favor from the host, sometimes for a prolonged time. …

That, in my opinion sounds exactly like whats happening here.

IMO to be fair to Microsoft we can’t blame them for Bing.  They even try to warn you of the Bing product in its name.  Lets look (again) at the dictionary definition of the word “Bing”:

Bing, noun –  a heap or pile.

So lets not be too hard on Microsoft this time.  Although maybe we should? Heres an allegation from a claimed ex-Microsoft employee who didn’t get into the spirit of “Bing”


[1] – Blaming listening to early good reports is what its alleged Steve Ballmer said in relation to Vista and the subsequent reception it received.

Goblin –


15 thoughts on “Bings got an iBug? – Problems with Bing on iPhone?

Add yours

  1. Re iBing:

    I don’t use it myself, these phones have too little of a screen and too much confusion for me, but I am curious as to what application the FOSS world provides in lieu of iBing for a similar purpose? Are there any or is all this fuss just sour grapes?

    Re Parasitic:

    This seems kind of confused. I don’t see a point being raised beyond some specious criticism of Microsoft. At the explosive growth rate being shown by Firefox today, it will overtake Microsoft IE in a ratio of 51-49% somewhere around the year 2037 and certainly Microsoft must plan ahead for that occasion, but suggesting that Mozilla’s concern for Google’s lack of privacy is hardly a reason to suppose that Microsoft is on the ropes.

  2. Ok, let me explain my reference to parasitic.

    If we are agreed that iPhone has achieved that which the Winmob platform dreams about. If we agree that Google has the market share of search… iBing on the iPhone is using the popular “host” of Apples product in order to boost its popularity. See? – I hope so and I hope Im not going to have to produce a counter argument on your behalf this time.

    Quote ” but suggesting that Mozilla’s concern for Google’s lack of privacy is hardly a reason to suppose that Microsoft is on the ropes.”

    Please stop telling lies. Quote me where I said that.

    Microsoft is not on the ropes, I never said that.

    First you come here trying to suggest things about me you know nothing about, then you return only for me to have to produce a counter for you since you are obsessed with trying to prove….something, now you are coming here failing to grasp a simple comparison, claiming that I say MS in on the ropes.

    Please, if you are going to act like you do in comp.os.linux.advocacy at least try to put a little original slant on it when you come here.

  3. I think that any sentient being would easily equate your notion that Microsoft is now reduced to just settling for “scraps off the Mozilla and Apple tables” as being “on the ropes” but you go ahead and pretend that you are neutral.

  4. Quote “I think that any sentient being would easily equate your notion that Microsoft is now reduced to just settling for “scraps off the Mozilla and Apple tables” as being “on the ropes” but you go ahead and pretend that you are neutral.”

    Hang on, in the case of getting in on FF or putting its apps to Apples product (its competitor) I think the scraps comment was kind and could be more described as “settling for second best”

    Neutral? Where did I say I was neutral? Ive always said I support Linux because MS products for me were not fit for purpose. Ive always said that MS should stop being jack of all trades (which one can argue is proven with all the allegations of late) I say MS should concentrate on its core products and make them the best it can.

    Amicus, don’t be so silly there is no neutrality we have our own opinions. You may prefer Snow Leopard, I may prefer Linux. Thats based on our own experiences and justified (unless someone is posting for reward and doesn’t really believe in what they say)

    Please stop with this silly bias claim. You could make it of, you could make it of a Windows blog. Its called opinion and at least mine is honest held belief formed on the basis of actual personal experience. IMHO.

  5. I’ll help you out with a little spelling, it’s CHRISTmas. On topic, this bing app is not unlike the bing cab for windows mobile, it plays havoc on any device it is installed on. Just like it did on my winmo phones, this app frequently crashes and does so at the most inopportune times. Thanks

  6. and I’ll help you out with a little politeness. Xmas is generally accepted as the holiday (if you are refering to my using it)…. Not everyone is christian but many people celebrate the a holiday during this time of year. Xmas is a more generic term (IMO) which I prefer to use and in respect of the Bing on a Winmob, I will have to give it a go. We have someone at work who has one.


  7. I’m not going to defend the performance of the app (hasn’t crashed for me but voice search is far from accurate and Google’s app does better — also the iPhone optimized web site for Bing bests the app in some regard) but I will defend them not supporting voice on the first gen iPod touch.

    They have no choice in the matter: Apple doesn’t officially support voice recording (through headphones with a built in mic I might add — the touch has no onboard mic) in anything but the second or third gen touch. The first gen could tricked into voice support in the pre-2.0 jailbreak era but it isn’t officially supported and so publishers have no way of supporting voice on those devices. None. The first ten touch wasn’t a huge seller, fortunately, so most users won’t be gypped.

    But blame Apple, not Microsoft. Not supporting a device that lacks a feature makes perfect sense.

  8. Quote “But blame Apple, not Microsoft.”

    Its not so much a case of blame, but then the question would be, why is MS attempting an app that doesnt have proper support on the device its intended for?

    Sounds to me like a question MS shareholders might want to ask and doesnt change the fact the even if the hardware is the issue, the software is still not fit for purpose. IMO.

  9. No, it’s a case of probably 37 million devices supporting voice search and a small minority not. Google doesn’t support voice search On first gen touches either. Bing Mobile is more than voice search. GPS via wifi and the other features all work just fine on those iPod touch units. It’s only voice search which is unsupported on those devices by the manufacturerer. You’re saying shareholders would rather no mobile iPhone app be released rather than one that works 100% on almost all devices and lacks one feature on a first gen device that is two years old? Come on.

  10. No, I think you miss understand. If iPhone 1st gen or any other voice recognition is poor, then Microsoft should not offer the product at all to them. To make claims about a package and then only to list its issues afterwards (IMO) is wrong.

    Quote ” You’re saying shareholders would rather no mobile iPhone app ”

    No Im not saying that at all. What I am saying is presumably shareholders want Microsoft releasing products that don’t let people down. If the issue is at Apples end then fine. Let the end user know BEFORE and don’t simply post a bug list afterwards.

    “Come on.”
    Yes come on. Its simple for MS to make it clear about 1st gen (instead via a bug list) and in anycase its a moot point because if you care to Google the issue, people with modern models of the iPhone are having trouble too.

  11. Voice search… I don’t think i will use it…
    On the subway, in the bus or something else, I won’t speak louder for my search…
    Voice Search it’s juste a gadget, and will belong a gadget…

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