Microsoft is taking on Google in the fight for online search supremacy by introducing new music-related features from Zune marketplace to its search engine, Bing.
Users in the US will be able to play tracks from within the search engine results page. Microsoft says that music searches will now include lyrics and playable tracks from more than five million songs which are already available from Zune.
Tracks can only be played once per person - for obvious reasons - and subsequent attempts to play them will last only 30 seconds. Interestingly, potential customers will be able to purchase the tracks from Zune but also from Amazon and iTunes (which we expect will be giving commissions back to Microsoft).
The new music features are only a small part of the 100 or so new features that Microsoft has introduced to Bing. A new segment, called Bing.com/Entertainment, has been introduced to cater for the 10 percent or so of all searches that are entertainment related.
Microsoft's Senior VP Yusuf Mehdi added that 90 percent of online search engine users look for entertainment related information at least once a month.
Other entertainment subcategories will include Movies, TV, Games and Video Games. It is quite interesting to see how Microsoft is integrating some features that were once restricted to portals and traditional websites to Bing.