Following in the footsteps ofand Google, Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it is bringing free, voice-guided navigation to its Windows phones via an update to its Bing application.
Starting today, Windows 6.x phone owners (a list of compatible devices is below) can check for an update on their smartphone or point their mobile browser to m.bing.com to get the new features. Once you've downloaded the new version, simply launch the app and you should see a new Navigate button, which will calculate your route and provide audio prompts (powered by Microsoft's Tellme voice technology) as you head out on your journey.
When planning a trip, you can also have the option to avoid traffic and/or toll roads and can choose the shortest or fastest route. In addition to the voice-guided directions, the Bing home page has also been redesigned to give users faster access to common searches, such as movies and traffic.
This is certainly great news for Windows Mobile phone owners, but a little troubling for location-based services, such as TeleNav and VZ Navigator, which charge for such services. Also, unfortunately, it looks like a majority Verizon customers will miss out on the new app. The Bing Community blog states that only those on