Bing Visual Search Gallery Unveiled for Windows Phone 7

Microsoft has made it easier to download Windows Phone 7 apps by integrating its app store with Bing Visual Search.

Launching in the U.S. and U.K. only, the rather clumsily-titled ‘Bing Visual Search Gallery for Windows Phone 7’ essentially puts a user-friendly interface to its mobile-based Marketplace store, letting users search, sort and download with ease.

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After opening the app catalog, which displays apps by icons, users can simply click on an app and are taken to a download link in the Zune Marketplace; this feature requires installing Zune onto your PC.

“Whether you’re looking to sort by category- say games, music or productivity- or by price, rating, top downloads or the ever popular “free”, we’ve got you covered,” Bing wrote in a blog post.

Launched in September 2009, Microsoft added the Silverlight-powered Visual Search feature to its Bing search engine, showing icons instead of text-based results.

Last month, Microsoft said its month-old Windows Phone 7 Marketplace had reached 1,000 apps, including Twitter, Netflix, and Google search apps. In an apple-to-oranges comparison, the Android Market has collected 100,000 apps since it opened in 2008 and Apple’s app store claims to have over 300,000 apps since 2008.

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