Can Microsoft Bank on Bing?

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After years of playing second fiddle to Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) search engine, Bing appears to be part of much bigger plans for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). The company has opened up Bing as a developer platform and could start monetizing it on a level previously considered a long shot, according to company executives.

Microsoft’s plan is to get more developers using its products by opening up the Entity API and other parts of Bing Services. Should developers decide they can use the information provided by Microsoft’s advanced data stores, it could prove to be a boon for licensing agreements and other lucrative deals. In other words, it could make Bing more profitable than anyone considered possible in the past.

The application programming interfaces (APIs) that have been available for developers to use in the past were never as advanced as elements like Entity, according to Frederic Lardinois of TechCrunch. Stefan Weitz, the Director of Search for Microsoft, told Lardinois there were a series of discussions concerning whether to release the full arsenal of tools to developers not working for the company. In a positive development for Microsoft, those supporting increased interaction with outside developers won.

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