Microsoft and Google play nice on Android

by Kristen Nicole

Microsoft is edging in on Android’s territory in any way the company can, with a new search app for Bing. The app is limited to Verizon customers, and is available for (nearly) all Android users via a partnership with Verizon, which is becoming increasingly common for these types of app launches.

A number of features are available for Bing search on Android, including an image search with scrolling results, and speech recognition and localized listings. Maps, another of Bing’s major initiatives, has special placement on the new Android app as well.

This raises the stakes for Google, as its own search and mapping features have taken precedence on the Android platform.  As Verizon becomes the next hopeful for offering the iPhone, its network is targeted by many companies looking to acquire consumers through mobile apps. This is yet another channel for Microsoft to build momentum around Bing.

More Google acquisitions

While Google has focused its efforts around mobile search, the company also has an eye set on social and mobile gaming.  Today brought the announcement of yet another acquisition, with SocialDeck becoming the latest to join Google’s family.  SocialDeck has developed a number of game titles, and features SocialDeck spark - which connects players across Facebook, the iPhone and BlackBerry.

While SocialDeck doesn’t have a large presence on the Android platform, the hopes are that Google will boost gaming around it as a result of the acquisition.  Google has made a number of acquisitions around social gaming and virtual currency, including Slide and Jambool.