The 2012 Election: Big Bird, Bayonets…and Bing!

Below is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications, announcing details around some new resources from Microsoft designed to help you stay up to date and informed with the latest news and data for the Nov. 6 presidential election here in the U.S.


Even though it’s been an especially busy fall for Microsoft, like many people, I’ve followed the U.S. presidential election closely, watching each debate, listening to pundits and keeping up with the latest news. Elections are always noisy things, but this year in particular the sheer volume of information is just incredible – polls, position statements, momentum swings, national and international issues, platoons of fact checkers and counter checkers, economic data, you name it. With so much data, it gets harder and harder to pull signal out of the noise. Luckily, I work for a company that knows a thing or two about handling lots of data :-), so we’ve created some great resources to help everyone make an informed decision on Election Day.

At this point in the election cycle, most voters (and I put myself in this list!) aren’t just looking for *more* information, instead they’re looking for *trusted information*. With that in mind, we’ve created the following election resources:

Bing Elections

In this hotly contested political season, things like binders and bayonets can take on new meaning in a matter of minutes. So we’ve created the new Bing Elections to keep you on the cutting edge by delivering comprehensive news coverage, updates and social insights – all in one place. Want to see what’s going on with the election from all sides? Bing Elections offers news your way – including the latest polls, full access to social conversations, news filtered by left- or right-leaning viewpoints, a tool to help you find polling locations, and up-to- the-minute results on Election Day. Powered by Bing search technology, Bing Elections offers the best from MSN and political partnerships, including Politico, Real Clear Politics, the Cook Political Report, AP, Huffington Post and more. Since Bing is the only search engine with Facebook and Twitter partnerships, it is the only resource to offer both social conversations and unique social sentiment analysis in one place, showing you what people are saying and feeling and what’s trending across social media. Learn more on the Bing Blog and visit www.bing.com/elections to join in the conversation and to see yet another reason to choose Bing over Google.

Election 2012 on Xbox LIVE

As we close in on Election Day, Xbox has emerged as a key winner of the 2012 debate season by delivering the first truly interactive television experience to its Xbox LIVE community through Election 2012 on Xbox LIVE, an interactive hub providing live election coverage, daily polls and real-time data analysis. Throughout the presidential and vice-presidential debates, Xbox LIVE users were able to weigh in with their opinions by responding to real-time poll questions about the candidate’s performances, their responses to questions, and their views on issues. During the final presidential debate, more than 100,000 Xbox LIVE community members engaged and submitted nearly 3 million individual responses to polling questions. The level of engagement among Xbox LIVE users was extremely high, with 30,000 to 35,000 respondents per question – making Election 2012 on Xbox LIVE one of the largest single-screen interactive TV experiences in history. The interactivity will continue on election night, when Xbox LIVE users will be able to monitor state-by-state voting results and participate in polling throughout the evening. Check it out yourself at www.xbox.com/election2012.

NBC News App for Windows 8 Debuts at Democracy Plaza

On Oct. 30, the NBC News App for Windows 8 will make its debut in Democracy Plaza in New York City, where NBC News and Microsoft have partnered to present a weeklong celebration of democracy and citizenship. Beginning Tuesday, the historic Rockefeller Center will be transformed into the epicenter of election politics – with opportunities for visitors to interact with and explore the NBC News for Windows 8 App, as well as the new Windows 8 software on more than 30 Microsoft Surface tablet computers throughout the Plaza. For more information, visit www.nbcnews.com/democracyplaza.

Election Tracker App for Excel

The Office team is also in on the election action, with the Election Tracker app for Excel. The app was developed using the cloud app model for the new Office and SharePoint, which enables developers to build apps that are scalable and flexible, using their existing skills and knowledge of .NET, HTML5 and CSS3. The Election Tracker offers all the Presidential Election data one could imagine, allowing people to use the power of Excel to both organize and sort the data, as well as to analyze it. The app continuously updates with the latest polling data and predictions for both Presidential and Senate Races, based on data from PredictWise, a blog authored by Microsoft Researcher David Rothschild.

I hope you’ll spend some time exploring these great resources provided by the Bing, Xbox, Windows 8 and Office teams. Then, for all of you registered voters here in the U.S., I hope you’ll vote on Nov. 6, knowing you’ve made the best and most informed decision you can. That’s what democracy is all about.