While Google leads the way in web search and Yahoo leads the way in answers, many upstart services are attempting to help you make decisions by giving you smarter answers to your questions. Microsoft has billed its new search offering Bing as both a "decision engine" and an "answer engine." Now there's Hunch, a new start-up founded by Flickr's Caterina Fake, which also aims to be a decision engine, but using a very different model. By first asking the user questions ranging from food preferences to pet peeves, Hunch tries to provide answers to questions that best match the user's interests based on crowdsourced data collected from other users.
Windows Phone 8.1 adds compelling user-facing features, but it's a bit of a mystery just how much developers will be able to take advantage of them. The revised smartphone operating system from Microsoft will hit the street as soon as May in new hardware, and will be distributed to existing handsets by the summer months.
Google said it will follow through on plans announced in 2011 to deprecate several search-related APIs. The company already has a replacement in place for the soon-to-be-defunct APIs. The replacement will help developers add select search functions to their Android mobile apps.