Google threatened to leave the Australian market if the local government pulls through with a law that would require search engines to pay publishers for linking to news articles. The threat hasn't gone down well, and in a turn of events that shouldn't surprise anyone, smaller competitors are ready to step in should Google pull through with its decision if the law is passed. Microsoft is ready to agree and work with the Australian government going forward, just like DuckDuckGo.
Google has announced the winners of this quarter's auction for default search engine options on Android devices in the Europe. In most of the EEA plus the U.K., users setting up their new phone or tablet starting October 1 will likely have to choose between using Google, Bing, GMX, Info.com, or Yandex.
Microsoft might be the market leader when it comes to desktop operating systems, but its aspirations for search have remained depressingly dismal. Currently, less than 3% of online searches are conducted via Microsoft's Bing search engine, but the company is trying to bump that number up by any means necessary... apparently even spammy additions to its Outlook app on Android.
While the search engine wars haven't been particularly kind to Bing, fans of the service often praise it for updating the home page with beautiful and interesting background photos each day. It has been so popular that it has sparked a small following, and there are several wallpaper apps dedicated to pulling the images from Bing's homepage to use as wallpapers on our phones. Microsoft has even delivered the same functionality a couple times in the past with its Bing search app and a now-defunct lockscreen app; but if you don't want all of the extra weight that comes with those, Bing now has a new app dedicated to just doing wallpapers.
Yahoo was an internet heavyweight during the early years of the internet—before Google, of course. Today, Yahoo is a shell of its former self as a subsidiary of Verizon with no real search product of its own. It's trying to build one, though. The company's new One Search is available on the web and via an Android app. It's just Bing with some added features, but Yahoo promises it's really secure.
Much like Gboard and its Google Search integration, Microsoft-owned SwiftKey added Bing as a search feature in its last big release, which we're sure wasn't a popular addition. Thankfully, a new update is now available that changes Bing search to a small button in the toolbar and allows you to remove it if you don't want it.
Your keyboard probably spends more time up on your screen than most apps, so it's only natural that developers have sought to make it more useful. For example, Gboard has search and translation integration. SwiftKey is still playing catch up when it comes to service integration, but it's taking a big step today with Bing search. Why Bing? Because Microsoft owns SwiftKey.
While Microsoft is undoubtedly better known for its productivity suite, the remit of in-house development studio The Garage is is a little broader and more playful. Not unlike the "20% time" projects at Google, Microsoft Garage is responsible for experiments that may or may not end up becoming fully-fledged products. The latest to see a full release after a few years of testing is Face Swap, an app that will automatically swap your face into any scene.
Microsoft wants to beat Google at its own game, so to those ends the company drives hard and fast when it comes to search. The newest feature to hit the app is 360 Search, an augmented reality-infused experience that helps take you where you want to go. Other new things include enhanced music and events features as well as a new 'Lottery' section showing the latest winning results for jackpots and such.