Microsoft's Bing search engine will launch fully in Asia later this year following a beta-launch on 3 June.
Bing, which was internally code-named Kumo during its development, will have a hard launch in the United States and Canada June 3 and will be introduced in beta form everywhere else worldwide that same day. The product, which is poised to directly take on Google as Microsoft’s flagship search engine, will be marketed through a US$100 million campaign.
Senior VP of research and development for Microsoft’s online services division Satya Nadella said Bing’s marketing efforts will be initially US- and Canada-centric but will spread globally throughout the year, and in China, Japan and Australia in this region.
Nadella added that Asia-Pacific is among its top focuses for the engine and Microsoft has opened research centers in China, Japan and India to assist in the localisation and language-development of Bing.
On a wider scale, Microsoft has partnered with companies including China Telecom, Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Verizon to ensure prominent placement on mobile phones and computers.
Bing is differentiated from past Microsoft search options through its focus around social media, Nadella said. It will also prominently feature categories on its home page such as shopping, travel, news, maps, video and images, and will overall have capabilities of a vertical search engine.