It’s been a long time since anyone thought of Google as merely a search engine — albeit their favorite one — given all of the firm’s additional services, but Microsoft’s Bing is still thought of as just that: a search engine. That’s something that the software giant wants to correct, and it’s doing so with an expansion of its maps program that’s increasing the coverage of its transit data.
While Bing previously offered travel information for those looking to get about in the US and a few other countries, it has now indexed travel options for some 3,000 other companies in over 30 countries from all over the world. In its own American backyard, it’s now got information on regional buses and ferries, as well as nationwide Amtrack coverage.
The rest of the world has been a big focus for this latest Bing Maps update, in the hope of encouraging European travelers, in particular, to use the tool to help get about.
“In the rest of Europe, we’re adding cities and regions regularly. Some of our latest additions include for example Metz in France, Verona and Pisa in Italy,” reads the blog announcement. It also recently added transit information for countries like Estonia, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, to name but a few.
Microsoft isn’t only looking to compete with Google with this update though, it’s also going after markets dominated by other firms. In China, where Baidu is the major player, Microsoft is increasing its coverage in both rural and urban areas, and it has also improved coverage in Japan, Australia, and Taiwan.
Although useful in its own right, this maps update is also likely designed to help bolster the launch of Windows 10 for desktops and smartphones later this year, by making Bing into more of a service, rather than just a search engine. Unlike Google however, Microsoft will have an uphill battle in making people believe it.