By Claire West
Digital experts Queryclick.com says Microsoft are brave to step into Google's Android territory, but it's a risk that could pay off.
With the recent release of its Bing app for Mobile Android, Microsoft proved it isn't afraid of getting its hands dirty when it comes to the battle for smartphone supremacy.
The launch of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 may have shaken up the playing field, but the software company has clearly been diversifying its efforts in an attempt to capture as many potential customers as possible - even if it is using competing hardware.
While the software company first launched the Bing app a few months ago, it was originally only available to Verizon Wireless customers. Perhaps this partial roll-out was a way for Microsoft to test the water, but if it was it seems the experiment has been deemed a success, as the app is now to be rolled out across Android.
A spokesperson for SEO company Queryclick.com revealed the belief that steps like this could give Bing the foothold it so desperately needs to gain more search market share. "Microsoft is still a software powerhouse, there's no doubt of that, but the last year or two have been difficult for them in many ways.
"By failing to make the initial impact hoped in both the search and mobile markets, faith has been shaken somewhat. However, some of the features offered by Bing are great and are likely to continue to appeal to people who are happy to be re-educated when it comes to the search experience.
"With the iPhone and Android garnering greater interest and more market share, it makes a lot of sense for Microsoft to tempt people back towards their products by releasing things like the Bing app."
However, it seems Android isn't the only smartphone OS Microsoft hopes to hijack, the company also released a Windows Live Messenger app for the iPhone earlier this year while rumours have long circulated about Office Mobile, and the possibility it may be released on a variety of different platforms.
The Bing app itself has some nice touches too, with the maps function being particularly fast and efficient. What's more, the new 'local' tab will return a list of categories such as restaurants and shopping. Once the restaurants tab has been selected, a list of local eateries is offered, as well as icons allowing you to call the restaurant directly or locate it on the map.
Search engine optimisation experts Queryclick suggested that while the Bing app may have been available on the iPhone for some time, it's the widespread Android release that shows Microsoft's willingness to get its hands dirty.
"The smartphone market is all to play for these days, and they've obviously realised they can't do it on their own.
"Rather than put all their energy into trying to take on the iPhone or the many Android models, Microsoft could be wise to plough its energies into software and mobile search."
QueryClick is an Edinburgh based SEO firm. QueryClick is quickly becoming a leading figure in UK SEO and SEO web design given the company's bespoke and ethical approach to business.