In a move that is certain to raise eyebrows and acquisition rumors (again), Bing today announced that Nokia will power the Traffic feature of its Maps product. Also, Nokia geocoding information will be integrated to improve routing results. Mapping is no small piece of Bing, as it is integrated into its web product, and into Windows Phone platform as a core feature.
Today’s upgrades will also be live on m.Bing.com, so that all mobile handsets can access them. The features will roll out over the next few days.
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The Nokia-powered results will be present in some 24 countries (listed in a moment). The Nokia deal will lead to better traffic results, Microsoft claims, as smaller streets will be covered as well as major freeways. I can anecdotally report that Bing Traffic results were more than passable before, so an improvement is gravy, albeit welcome gravy.
This upgrade comes on the heels of the news that Bing is launching a full redesign of its product, and gathering new traction through Yahoo’s Axis browser. This appears to be the Month of Bing. According to the Microsoft blog post on the news, the inclusion of Nokia geocoding information is “another important milestone in our partnership to build the world’s best mapping platform using Nokia and Microsoft’s assets.”
The following countries are effected [Formatting: TNW]: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark (traffic only), Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, United Kingdom, and the US.
Here’s a shot of improved traffic information, in Seattle (Microsoft image):
On the whole this is another incremental Bing improvement that will help the search engine continue its war with Google for consumer mind and market share.