Look for some new entertainment-related features to be added to Microsoft’s Bing search engine this week. The company is hosting a showy press conference in L.A. tomorrow, along with a panel discussion with entertainment “innovators,” including Ryan Seacrest. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) isn’t commenting on what it is announcing, but IDG News Service cites sources who outline several announcements the company has in store, including a music player that will let users stream tracks they find in Bing and TV results that will also include some episode streaming.
One additional possibility — first mentioned speculatively by TechFlash‘s Todd Bishop — is that some of these features, including the TV search results, may also make their way to Microsoft’s Xbox Live online gaming service. Bishop says he isn’t “privy to the Microsoft announcements,” but I think Microsoft may have tipped its hand during a demo at E3 last week.
At one point during its press conference, Microsoft showed off a new way that Xbox Live users would be able to chat with each other, called Video Kinect. During the demo, a Bing logo, adjacent to the words, “News, Sports, TV, Movies, and Music,” showed up on screen (Click on the screenshot above to see close-up). Microsoft explained that users would be able to click on one of the words — like “Movies” — and then watch a clip together, while simultaneously chatting.
Microsoft did not explain the presence of the Bing logo. It’s possible that it may have been there because users could click on Bing and then look up standard search results together. That sounds awkward, however, and it’s more likely that “News, Sports, TV, Movies, and Music” refer to either Bing or Bing Video verticals that will eventually be accessible online and also via the console.
Here’s the clip. The Video Kinect demo starts at 19:37: