By NICK BILTON
In late 2009, when Microsoft introduced a downloadable application for the iPhone from Apple, it set off some excitement in the tech world. For years, Microsoft and Apple had been head-to-head in the war for personal computing.
On Monday, the tech world was buzzing again with an announcement by Microsoft’s search group, Bing, that the company has released an application for the Android platform from Google. The move could be seen as an encroachment on Google’s turf, as the two companies compete directly on a number of search platforms.
The app comes with the typical Bing offerings, including image search, movies, maps, local, news and driving directions.
From the products Microsoft highlights in its announcement, it seems that the company is trying to separate itself from Google by highlighting features that Google does not offer.
For example, Mr. Chu explains in the blog post that the “app homepage features the Bing image of the day, complete with clickable hot spots that you can explore and discover related trivia.” He also notes that the Bing application offers “flight information you are looking for, we will show you the departure, arrival and other relevant information, such as traffic, weather, news and hotels details.”
A Microsoft representative told the Web site Tech Flash that the app would be available for other devices and wireless carriers in the near future, but did not specify a date.