The iPhone Bing.app from Microsoft is largely what you might expect. It does search and other Bing-y stuff like have the image of the day and trivia. It also has maps and a voice interface for input into maps which is something that the iPhone doesn't have entirely yet.
But what I find most interesting is that we are two and a half years out from the iPhone's release and Microsoft is just releasing its flagship search application for Apple's platform now.
Microsoft is no stranger to the Apple's platforms. They were there on Day One with Microsoft Word for the Mac and have dominated the Office applications on the platform ever since. In fact, Word came out on the Mac before it came out on PC.
Microsoft hasn't been so quick to jump on the iPhone bandwagon. Sure, it released Seadragon, the large photo imaging software for the iPhone almost a year ago and Apple had made Microsoft Active Sync/Exchange compatibility a cornerstone of its enterprise plan for the iPhone, but the effort to bring compatibility to its major platforms has been lacking.
There is still no Word for iPhone -- or Excel or Powerpoint. Microsoft Sharepoint compatibility is also lacking. And you'd think that with a stable of gaming franchises with the XBOX, they'd port some of their titles over and make a quick fortune.
Even Google, who has a much brighter mobile future isn't worried that building apps for iPhone will cut into its own handset shares...and they've got a desirable product line.
The strangest thing about this new app (that I haven't had time to try yet) is that I was initially impressed with Microsoft for making it. Impressed that they built an application for Apple's platform. But that is the new Microsoft. The old Microsoft would have been on the platform from day one. Like Google.
This story, "Microsoft Jumps on iPhone Bandwagon with Bing App" was originally published by Computerworld.