Microsoft is pushing hard with the apparent gazillions of new features on the Windows Phone 7 released today - but little mention so far of one neat piece of functionality.
So buried in all the news about sharing features, processor speed, handset design, content management and more is also confirmation that the voice-activated functionality included as standard is also hooked directly into Microsoft's Bing search engine.
So what does this mean?
Well, a Microsoft official explains that a handset owner can ask questions and Bing returns results to the handset (if it understands, of course).
That sounds pretty good and helpful, but surely for complicated searching or when a visit to a website is needed then a user may prefer to use the handset's touch screen keyboard as they can then visit the sites in results?
Well, yes. But for the quick queries, where a result is needed on the screen immediately and where voice activation comes into its own, Windows Windows Phone 7 has the (albeit limited for the time being) answer.
Bing has had an instant flight status system attached for around 16 months, and will now be included in the Windows Phone 7 functionality through voice activation.
Here is one scenario: stuck in a taxi en route to an airport for a departure or to meet someone. Flight number on an boarding pass or scrap of paper. Speak the number straight into the phone. Details returned immediately about the status of the flight. No browsing required.
Anyway, Microsoft is seemingly going for it today with its big announcement, confirming the early manufacturers named as Dell, HTC, LG and Samsung, with mobile operators including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Movistar, O2, Orange, TELUS, T-Mobile USA and Vodafone.