Back in 2009, GeekWire co-founders Todd Bishop and John Cook took to the streets of Seattle and asked random passersby a simple question: What is the name of Microsoft’s search engine? At the time, the answer would have been Live Search, but as it turned out, nobody knew that. Responses included everything from MSN and Internet Explorer to Hotmail and Mozilla.

Seven years later, with the news this week that Microsoft’s Bing search engine is making new progress against Google in the search market, we decided to repeat the experiment, taking to the streets and asking the same question: What is the name of Microsoft’s search engine?

In 2016, do people know that the answer is Bing? And more importantly, do they use it? Continue reading to find out.

Katherine Auld (Left) & Katy Brown (Right)

Katherine Auld, a student abroad from Edinburgh Scotland: “(Laughs) is it Bing? I want to say Bing… but I don’t know if that’s right. I’m going to say Bing. I don’t know I use Google.”

Katy Brown, also a student abroad from Edinburgh Scotland: “I don’t know… Yahoo? I don’t know, I don’t know. I use Chrome.”

Serra Dernberger

Serra Dernberger, a restaurant cook: “Oh, I know this one…Um… Shoot. I Can’t think of it right now… shoot. I don’t know. I don’t really use it…”

Stephanie Peitromonaco

Stephanie Pietromonaco, raises money for science research: “MSN? I don’t use it… I think my dad does.”

Trevor Snodgrass

Trevor Snodgrass, works for a DNA Sequencing lab: “Oh! Edge! I don’t know anyone that uses it. Maybe my grandma… ”

Rachel Hines

Rachel Hines is a Bartender/Geologist. “Is it Google? Bing? Bing! I don’t know anyone who uses Bing, I don’t think it’s a worthwhile search engine. I hate it.”

Chad Hickey

Chad Hickey, restaurant worker. “Microsofts search engine is Bing. I don’t use bing because I use google. It’s just what pops up on my computer screen.”

Micheal Falcone & Spencer Judge

Michael Falcone: “Bing. Nope, I don’t use it, I use Google.”

Spencer Judge: “Same here.”

So here’s the bottom line: It seems as though people are indeed more familiar with Microsoft’s search engine than they were in 2009. Most people I encountered knew the name. However, not a single person out of the 15 that I interviewed said they used Bing on a regular basis, or preferred it to Google. So Microsoft still has plenty of room to improve. We’re putting a note on the GeekWire calendar to check back in another six years!



Categorized in Search Engine

In many ways, it was a match made in heaven. Mitchell Hashimoto taught himself programming at age 12; Armon Dadgar started college when he was 16. You get the picture.

The two met in the University of Washington's computer science department in 2008. Dadgar says he knew immediately that his future HashiCorp co-founder had a genuine interest in computer science. Many of their fellow students, says Dadgar, set their sights on careers with Seattle's Microsoftand Amazon, and saw programming as a means to a relatively lucrative end. Only a handful were truly passionate about the field. "Mitchell was one of those people," says Dadgar. "It was exciting for me to meet a peer who was like this."

In 2010, while the two were still in college, Dadgar emailed Hashimoto. "Hey Mitchell, I was wondering if you would be interested in launching a startup?" he wrote. Hashimoto's reply: "Armon, ah, you don't know how long I've been waiting for an email like this. If I were to enumerate my goals entering college, the top of my list would've had 'find co-founder(s) for potential start-up.' "

But the duo's venture wouldn't materialize until three years later, after Hashimoto had convinced Dadgar to accept a position at mobile advertiser Kiip. Hashimoto had started at Kiip in the fall of 2010, where he continued work he began in college on Vagrant, a tool that creates virtual environments for the development and testing of software. He left Kiip to found HashiCorp in late 2012 and Dadgar joined him as a co-founder in the summer of 2013.


Today, their data-center management company, which has seen a 300 percent increase in revenue over the past year, employs 35 people. HashiCorp's DevOps software serves as the interface between infrastructure development and product development. Hashimoto and Dadgar use the metaphor of the power grid infrastructure to explain their tools. Think of an app as a toaster, and HashiCorp's services as the transmission lines that carry power to the toaster--except, instead of connecting electronics to electricity, HashiCorp helps the internet of things stay connected to the cloud servers that keep products and services running.

CTO Dadgar describes CEO Hashimoto as someone who can disappear into a void for weeks and then come out with a solution to a complicated problem, which he can express in two clean sentences written neatly in his notebook.

Vagrant continues to be widely used by programmers. A plugin for Vagrant was the first offering from HashiCorp, and Dadgar says it helped the company draw customers when it launched.

Dadgar, who describes his strength as the willingness to take risks that move the company forward, insisted on raising capital to finance growth and hire more staff. So HashiCorp raised a Series A round of $10.2 million from VC firms True Ventures, GGV, and Mayfield at the end of 2014, bringing total funding to $10.7 million. That allowed the company to launch additional open-source tools, including a system called Atlas that unites its tools in a centralized dashboard.

HashiCorp's tools are designed to work "on an immense scale," and users include Dropbox, Stripe, Square, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, according to Dadgar. HashiCorp builds for big companies and then scales features down to fit smaller clients. "We sort of over-engineer as a cultural practice," says Hashimoto.


Companies looking for data-center management solutions tend to have two options: all or nothing, says Mark Barnhill, development automation manager for the live-streaming video platform Twitch, and a HashiCorp customer. Either they can opt to buy into a wholesale package, or their own engineers can work through data-center management piece by piece. With HashiCorp, it can be all, nothing, or a general solution with the option of customizing or dropping features. "It's a fairly small company and it's really impressive how much they've been able to produce in a short period of time and with not a lot of people," says Barnhill. "I think it really speaks a lot to the leadership and the talent they have within the company."

Source:  http://www.inc.com/tess-townsend/2016-30-under-30-hashicorp.html

Categorized in Internet of Things

You CAN be smart and good-looking. That's the message from Microsoft's Magic Mirror - a so-called smart mirror that can recognize and greet users, read their emotions and display the weather, time and other information. All the while looking just like a regular mirror.

"Imagine when you wake up in the morning, you're able to use the mirror to style your hair, do your make up, and while doing that, you can also view the weather," Izzat Khair, a member of Microsoft Singapore's developer experience team explained.

The Magic Mirror has a hidden facial-recognition camera that can detect eight human emotions, including anger, happiness and surprise. Microsoft plans to expand the mirror's features, allowing it to show app-fed news as well as Facebook and Twitter feeds in a display panel.

The mirror was still at the demo stage but had real business potential, Khair said, pointing out that the advertising and marketing industries, for example, could use the technology.


"Imagine on the monitor of the mirror, you're able to play an advertisement. And you have a camera that can snap a photo of the users that are viewing the advertisement," he said.

The mirror's facial-recognition features could then provide real-time information to advertisers on how viewers reacted to the advertisement, he added.

Microsoft's smart mirror, called Magic Mirror, and showcased at the InnovFest Unbound 2016, a digital technology conference in Singapore, has a facial recognition feature and can tell the weather, date, time and location.

Microsoft's smart mirror, called Magic Mirror, and showcased at the InnovFest Unbound 2016, a digital technology conference in Singapore, has a facial recognition feature and can tell the weather, date, time and location.

The Magic Mirror was one of a number of tech products on display at InnovFest UnBound 2016, a digital technology conference, to illustrate the changing ways users were interacting with technology.

In an address at InnovFest on Tuesday, Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said he wanted the country to build an operating system database for 100 million smart objects over the next five years, as the Internet of Things trends took off.


Microsoft is working with Singapore's government agencies on boosting the city-state's IoT ecosystem, as well as on talent development, research, cyber security and public sector partnership, as part of the country's Smart Nation initiative.

In keeping with the focus on cyber security, Khair said that the data processed by the mirror was stored on a private cloud that Microsoft's programmers could not access, and the data was deleted after seven days.

Source:  http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/19/microsofts-magic-mirror-developed-in-singapore-is-part-of-its-contribution-to-the-smart-nation-initiative.html

Categorized in Internet Technology
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