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Bing Upgrades Their Mobile Browsing Experience

Bing has just released an upgrade to their mobile browser that takes the best of apps and combines it with the best of the browser for a faster, easier user experience.

SHOPPING

Like the Bing app, the Bing mobile browser offers a scrolling list of categories to help narrow down your choices from the moment you start to search. From there, you can jump to the updated shopping helper which uses more graphics than text to guide you through the next steps. Each category drills down at least twice until you’re presented with a list of pre-selected items, which, unless you’re gift shopping for someone you don’t know, is fairly useless.

Mobile, Mortar and the Scan and Scram Shopper

Yesterday, I went to the closing sale at my local Borders (sigh, and yes, I have book sales on the brain today). They had blu-ray box sets marked down 40%, so thinking I was getting a great deal, I decided to buy one. After I bought it, I used my Google Goggles to look up the item online and found that the price I paid was the same as Amazon’s everyday, low price. If I had scanned before I bought the item, I probably wouldn’t have bought it as it wasn’t the great deal I had hoped for. I would have been a “Scan and Scram Shopper,” and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Reporting from the CTIA Wireless 2011 conference, CNBC says;

Nice Deal! Groupon CEO Rolls Ad Agency Under the Bus

Remember the dustup that Groupon created wit their Super Bowl ads? Most people felt they were offensive while others saw the as being brilliant. In the end, Groupon decided to cave to the majority (in other words, those who pay Groupon’s bills), remove the ads and apologize for their lapse in judgment.

Andrew Mason, Groupon’s CEO, isn’t about to let the world think that the while thing was entirely their fault. In fact, he appears quite happy to paint Groupon’s ad agency, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) as the culprit while acting as if Groupon was just too trusting rather than complicit in the ads.

AdAge reports

After defending controversial Super Bowl ads created with CP&B, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason is now blaming CP&B and himself for trusting it as an ad partner.

Rumor Mill Spits Out Possible $25 Billion Valuation for Groupon

Based on claims that its subscriber base has doubled over the past three months and a push into 100’s of new cities there are rumblings that Groupon’s eventual IPO could peg the service at a $25 billion valuation.

Bloomberg reports

Groupon Inc. has held talks with banks about an initial public offering that would value the online-coupon company at as much as $25 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.

The two-year-old startup’s IPO may happen this year and is unlikely to assign Groupon a valuation of less than $15 billion, according to the people, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its March 21 edition. They asked not to be identified because the talks were private.

Will New Tax Laws End Amazon’s Affiliate Program?

On Tax Day (ironically, or maybe intentionally), Amazon will sever all ties with affiliates in the great state of Illinois, including (also ironically) film critic Roger Ebert.

Back in January, Ebert took some flack from Twitter followers who didn’t think it was right that he Tweet Amazon links. The critic explained in an interview with ClickZ that the small amount of income he made from the links went to keeping his website free for all to read and I agreed. A few ads and a few clicks is a small price to pay in order to keep reading articles such as his half-star review of Battle: Los Angeles. Now, we find the fight was for naught, thanks to a new law signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

Groupon: Master Salesmen But Not So Masterful With Delivery?

Groupon is certainly a phenomenon but with more and more reports of disgruntled users of the service feeling they have been ‘oversold’ is the service really all its valuation has it cracked up to be?

Fast Company is reporting of a bit of a dust up between a well-known Silcon Valley entrepreneur and Groupon during a SXSW panel.

Sunday’s Groupon panel on theFast Company and PepsiCo stage took an unexpected turn when Travis Kalanick, a longtime Silicon Valley entrepreneur who runs online car service Uber, spoke frankly about his negative experiences as a client of Groupon–and several Groupon staffers in the audience took issue with the story he told.

Coming Soon: Groupon Buttons on the Cash Register

Using your Groupon coupon for 50% off today? No problem, sir. I’ll just hit this button on the cash register and the machine will do the math for me.

Oh yes, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, Groupon is in talks with the major cash register manufacturers to have Groupon buttons added to all their machines.

The article goes on to say that Groupon is testing a number of avenues that “will let merchants account more efficiently for Groupon transactions and returns.”

Returns? Didn’t know you could do that? I’d like to return this tan, please. It’s a bit too orange for my liking. . .

Groupon is big, but is it that big that they need their own button? Says Bloomberg,