While sales of hardware may be suffering greatly it seems that the general economic gloom has not yet diminished the ambitions of the larger technology companies to give us new products and services online.
In the last few weeks we have had Wolfram Alpha offering a way to search structured data and provide results in a form suitable for further computation. We have had Google Squared promising a simple way of pulling organised data from websites into a spreadsheet style format.
Finally, a new controller-free interface for the Xbox 360 games console from Microsoft that – the company hopes – will open up gaming to the millions who are intimidated by the complexity of current controllers.
And now, after years of effort, billions of dollars worth of investment and several failed attempts, Microsoft has launched Bing, a search engine that it thinks has a chance of unseating Google and which it would like us to think of as a “decision engine.