Microsoft has been proving to be a viable contender with Google and Apple as of late, on multiple fronts. The Windows Phone 8.1 news revealed several features that many should find very helpful. Cortana, Microsoft’s version of the personalized assistant, aspires to keep Google Now and Apple’s Siri on their digital toes. And today, keeping the hype train rolling, Microsoft has announced a new feature on Bing: personalized cards.
Bing’s new personalized cards will “help you keep track of things that matter to you,” stated Microsoft on their blog. “Set up your interests in Bing settings and you will start seeing personalized news, weather, flights, and stocks with more to come – all as part of the search experience.”
I took the liberty of playing around with the new system to see what kinds of cards it would offer. Telling Bing what categories of cards I wanted to see was as easy as going into settings and choosing interests. The selection wasn’t extensive, but the core categories were there: traffic, weather, travel information, all kinds of news, and even restaurant and nightlife recommendations. With the bit of time I spent playing around, I haven’t seen Bing serve me any travel notifications or sports news, but that is understandable. I did, however, immediately see some pertinent news and weather info, so at least I can confirm that the cards system works to that extent.
As a Google user, I am finding Bing’s new service to be very familiar. However, that is not to say that Microsoft is not a force to be reckoned with. Bing’s personalized cards system boasts a beautiful design and is very simple to use, and while I haven’t yet been convinced to hop on the Windows Phone 8.1 bandwagon, I wouldn’t mind playing around with these new cards a little more.
Give it a shot, and tell us what you think.