A look at Microsoft’s developer site shows that it has been busy catching up with Google APIs. The Bing Search API has moved to version 2.0 and is now part of the Windows Azure Marketplace . While 5000 transactions/month are free, the pricing of Bing API moves linearly with 500 transactions/month for every dollar (there are different slabs though).
Several Months ago, Microsoft announced that the Bing Search API had moved to the Windows Azure Marketplace. This move would make the Bing Search API a paid service with a tiered structure. Developers have been given until August 1st, 2012 to transition to the new version of the Bing Search API.
Microsoft has just announced the availability of the Microsoft Translator Hub for commercial use, including access to the Microsoft Translator API. Microsoft Translator Hub is built on Windows Azure, and provides tools for businesses to “build, improve, and deploy customized automatic language translation systems.”
On April 12th, Microsoft announced that:
“the Bing Search API will transition to…the Windows Azure Marketplace,” they later added that the service will “move to a monthly subscription model.”
So what does this mean for developers?
A year ago users of Garmin’s sport tracking devices logged into its Garmin Connect site to find a seemingly minor change. Instead of embedding Google Maps, the GPS manufacturer had switched to Microsoft’s Bing Maps. According to the 38 pages of comments in Garmin’s forums, this was in actuality a major change. A year later, Garmin responded in October by giving users the option of Bing or Google.
Facebook Timeline, the new profile design launching soon on Facebook, makes broad use of the Bing Maps API. Similarly, the Facebook Places feature also incorporated Bing, but now both maps use a different, more simplified style.
Auction giant eBay is giving its developers another way to access listings. In addition to its current eBay API, it has added support for Microsoft’s “OData,” an Open Data protocol for accessing and querying data provided by an API. Using familiar technologies, OData provides a consistent structure, with the promise of APIs that are more flexible and easier to use.
Microsoft has released a suite of tools to integrate its popular Messenger client into your website. Called Messenger Connect, the new API embeds a Windows Live Messenger chat window on your site, which enables visitors to share links, collaborate, or just stay connected to friends.
The Health team at Bing used public data to create a Health Map application (requires Silverlight) that lets users visualize a number of health indicators, such as obesity and premature births, by U.S. county.
For months, the Bing Maps site has been showing off what are essentially embedded mashups. You can search nearby tweets, FourSquare check-ins and other content from partners. Until now, it was merely a showcase of apps either written internally or by a company that Microsoft had blessed. Now, you have the opportunity to get your mashup included on Bing’s map.