Microsoft considering ‘super app’ to expand mobile search • The Register

Microsoft officials have reportedly toyed with the idea of ​​a smartphone “super app” that would combine a range of mobile consumer services to fuel advertising and drive users to products including Bing and Teams.

It would also help Microsoft chip away at the dominant positions held by Google and Apple in the mobile search business, according to a report this week in The informationciting unnamed sources.

It remains unclear whether Redmond HQ has made a decision on whether to create such an app, although it has been noted that CEO Satya Nadella wants Bing to work more closely with Teams and Outlook.

The register asked Microsoft for comment and we’ll add the official response when it comes.

The idea of ​​an all-in-one app that brings a wide range of services under one umbrella is not new. Asian tech giant Tencent is doing just that—critics say it does a lot of things and none of them consistently well—with WeChat. Chinese readers and those of you who work closely with those who work there will be familiar with the calling and messaging app, which also includes censored news, online shopping and games among the services. WeChat was apparently a source of inspiration for Microsoft executives, according to the anonymous sources.

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Other companies, including Grab — Southeast Asia’s answer to Uber — and Careem, which Uber bought in 2020 for $3.1 billion, both offer great apps. Careem, which started life as a ride-hailing company, now offers a range of services on its Super app, from food delivery to car and bike rentals to a Venmo-like digital wallet. Grab’s services also include food delivery and digital payments.

In October, as he prepared to buy Twitter, Elon Musk tweeted about X, which he described as an “everything app” that would be similar to WeChat. Musk had talked about Twitter becoming a super app in the months leading up to his $44 billion acquisition of the company and in August apparently bought back the domainwhich he first owned in 1999.

If the report proves correct, for Microsoft, a great app could help plug a hole as it competes with Microsoft and Apple, both of which also run their own mobile app stores. The company already has Microsoft Start – a bulked-up iteration of its Microsoft News app – a personalized news feed rolled out last year that also includes other information such as temperatures, traffic, and stock market and offers online shopping, games and other features .

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It is available via the widgets panel Windows 11 or Windows 10 taskbar. It can also be accessed as a website on Microsoft Edge and Chrome and as a mobile app for Android and iOS.

Microsoft Start addresses many of the features offered by super apps like WeChat, which is in the enviable position that the Chinese government bans many of its competitors, giving it a long runway in the country’s massive consumer market.

However, what Microsoft executives have reported is a way to drive more searches to Bing, grow its advertising business and bring more users to tools like Teams and Outlook, something that Microsoft Start apparently doesn’t do enough of.

Let’s face it, what would make Windows users happier than another way to catch Microsoft ads? ®


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