Akin to Windows 8, Windows Phone contains a number of native tools that answer consumer needs that might be met with third-party apps. One such piece of software is Bing Audio, a feature that allows users to hold their phone near music, and have the search tool figure out what song is playing.

It’s like Shazam, but built in. Today Microsoft announced that the feature will now be functional in 14 new countries: “Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland.”

It is currently available in eight countries, so this is more than a doubling. However, it’s worth noting that the added markets are smaller than existing markets, so in terms of population we can’t comment precisely on the scale of expansion.

Shazam is in the Windows Phone app store, so if you don’t like Bing, you have choices. However, the existence of Bing Audio does highlight a natural tension between first-party native capabilities and third-party development; Windows 8, however, I would argue hews far closer to the edge of good taste regarding app development against app store curation.

This news matters simply as it furthers the Microsoft narrative of taking Windows Phone as globally as possible, as quickly as possible. By extending this sort of service to new markets, Microsoft is incrementally bettering the value proposition of its smartphone platform.

In the battle for third place, market share is more clawed out than created.

Top Image Credit: Vernon Chan