Microsoft Rolls Out Its Version of CloudSearch.

April 19, 2012

When Amazon publicized their big move with CloudSearch, no one was surprised that the technological behemoth Microsoft announced they’d be moving the Bing API into the Azure Marketplace. What exactly does this mean? The article, Microsoft’s answer to Amazon’s CloudSearch: Bing on Azure Marketplace | ZDNet gives us a little insight into what the future holds for Bing users.

“The Windows Azure marketplace is the site where Microsoft and third party vendors can sell (or offer for free) their data, apps and services.

Microsoft officials said the Bing API Marketplace transition will “begin in several weeks and take a few months to complete.” Via a post to the Bing Developer blog on April 12, officials did say that Microsoft plans to make the API available on a monthly subscription basis”

Microsoft’s effort to monetize ramping up API technology will probably lead quickly to success. The fees incurred have already been made public, as stated in the article Microsoft ends free Bing Search API, moves to paid service on Azure Marketplace. It seems they’ll be keeping things affordable so as not to overwhelm current Bing users, while providing faster, more efficient services.

“The company has released what it describes as “approximate” pricing for the service: $40 per 20,000 queries per month. Microsoft has not at this time said if there will be any introductory or free tier for low volume users. Though this rate compares favorably with Google’s search API pricing-$5 per 1000 queries—Google permits 100 queries per day for free. Microsoft’s translation API similarly has a free tier, allowing translation of 2 million characters per month without charge.”

There will be more competition for the premises crowd with Microsoft, Amazon and Google all three in the game. Though the basic services offered differ slightly, this will be a drastic change for Bing’s business users. They will eventually have to reconfigure their current systems to accommodate the Azure Cloud as stated in the article, Microsoft Got A Bright Idea From Amazon: Selling Search As A Service – Business Insider.

“Another bummer for developers who use Bing is that they will have to go back and rejigger their apps to use the cloud paid service”

Amazon may not have been the first to come up with the paid API idea. With the swiftness that Microsoft jumped into the ‘all in one’ provider revolution, one has to ponder how long the Azure API had been in the works.  The article Microsoft to Begin Charging for Bing Search API Usage further explains and confirms the big moves taking place in API.

“This is sure to be a controversial move for some heavy users of the API, but it does show that Microsoft is going ‘all-in’ on Azure, consolidating its APIs under the product.”

There is no doubt this new API evolution will be causing some changes in the future. The smaller players like Searchblox will be required to work harder in order to compete in the upcoming API war. However, new opportunities will be arising for open source providers like Lucid Imagination, as the changes start to unfold.

Jennifer Shockley, April 19, 2012

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