Nearly two years after empowering major news outlets with Bing Pulse and its real-time audience polling powers, Microsoft is releasing version 2.0 of the search engine's analytics platform and is making it available to everyone.
Bing Pulse enables event organizers and media outlets to gauge consumer sentiment, offering the public the ability to chime in and vote on topic in intervals as brief as five seconds for real-time feedback. The software provides a dashboard that publishers and managing directors can review in real time on how their audiences feel about emerging news.
"Bing Pulse 2.0's self-serve technology enables event producers and organizers to bring these benefits to participants at events of any size -- from 10 people at a nonprofit meeting to 5,000 people gathered in a Vegas ballroom to millions watching a nationally broadcast show," states a Bing Pulse team representative.
Though Microsoft has moved Bing Pulse to version 2.0, the Big Data platform is still in a beta testing period. All versions of Pulse are free during the beta period, until Jan. 31, 2015, but the price of service will range between $200 and $1,000 when it is officially released.
Bing Pulse was initially launched back in February 2013, ahead of a State of the Union address. Microsoft partnered with Fox News, which provided a stream on the address on Pulse and a flock of talking heads to spin or put the speech into perspective.
"At its heart, Bing is really about empowering people with knowledge -- by helping customers make sense of all the information on the web, in social networks, and in the world around them so that they can accomplish more in their everyday lives," stated Microsoft back when Bing Pulse was unveiled.
When U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a speech on how he intended to address the Islamic State, CNN leveraged Bing Pulse and was able to get to the front of the news curve as a result, according to Greg Shaw, senior director of corporate strategy at Microsoft.
"They were the first to sort of frame the discussion, because they had already crowdsourced what America was saying," says Shaw.
While it is still dwarfed by Google's massive search engine, Microsoft continues to find ways to grow new business out of Bing and more partners to place their bets on it. Weeks after Mozilla announced the next version of Firefox would replace the native Google search with Bing, new reports are indicating that Apple is in the process of making a similar move.