If you use a Windows Phone and have your region set to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK or the US, you probably have used Bing Audio. This feature, which used to be Bing Music Search, is one where you can find out which song is playing by “listening” to a few moments of the tune. It is built into Windows Phone and is invoked by the hardware search button and then by clicking on the music note on the Bing search screen.
According to a blog post on the Windows Phone Blog, this feature is now available in 14 new regions: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland. This is a service-based addition, so it won’t involve any app download or OS update. Curiously though, India is not included in this list despite it being an English-language country.
This news is encouraging in the grand scheme of things because despite Microsoft’s claims of supporting a large number of markets, their services have been severely limited in most non-US markets. Bing search, Bing Audio, Podcasts, SkyDrive automatic backup of photos and videos, etc. are some examples of services that should be “on” by default on all devices but are not. SkyDrive backup was recently turned on for all markets, and it was phased because they wanted to plan the scalability of the service. Perhaps the other services are under a similar guidance, but given that Bing Audio was part of the original Windows Phone 7 OS feature set, I find it hard to believe that Microsoft has not been able to plan the scale-out after almost 3 years of use.
As for this particular feature, it is not a deal-breaker in markets which do not have it enabled yet because there are excellent and free apps which serve the purpose, like Soundhound and Shazam.
Image credit: Windows Phone Blog