The newest iPhone app developer: Microsoft

Pigs are flying all around my office today. According to The Weather Channel, the temperature in Hades is a nippy -40 degrees. Oh, and Microsoft has created an iPhone app available through the Apple App Store.

The application is called Bing, and as the name suggests, it’s a native front end to Microsoft’s search engine. I’ll give Microsoft credit here: the new app is beautifully done, lightning fast and delivers decent search results of both websites and images. (You can download Bing from the Apple App Store here.)

I’m not a huge fan of the Bing search engine because it seems to always assume that if you’re searching for something, it’s because you want to buy it. Thus, Bing loves to steer you to shopping sites – particularly those of its retail partners. The company’s Bing Cashback program is a blatant attempt to purchase market share and mindshare – but given Google’s utter dominance of the search world, it’s hard to blame Microsoft for going all-out to gain a toehold.

Creating an iPhone app for Bing makes total 100% sense for Microsoft to do. Why should Redmond cede the fastest-growing smartphone platform to archenemy Google?

Still, when you see a Microsoft app running on your iPhone, you know the world has turned upside down. Cue the flying porkers!

Microsoft, Google and Apple are an interesting troika of frenemies. Apple and Google used to be Best Friends Forever, but that all changed when Google announced its Android phone platform and Chrome browser, which are direct challengers to Apple’s iPhone and Safari browser. Now Google and Apple don’t get along at all.

Now we’ve got Microsoft developing cool apps for the iPhone, while Google is reportedly preparing to launch its own mobile phone, called Nexus One. That would bring the software giant into the consumer hardware business. (Google has long offered enterprise hardware like the Google Search Appliance.)

Funny world. Next thing you know, Oracle will buy Sun Microsystems, or something crazy like that.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick