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  • Tom Jowitt

Microsoft Opens Up AI-Featured Bing Search Engine To All Users

Anyone with a Microsoft account can now use the new version of its Bing search engine, featuring the OpenAI chatbot

Microsoft continues to double down on its AI credentials, by opening access to its AI enhanced Bing search engine, to all users.

Microsoft on Thursday announced that anyone with a Microsoft account can now use the new version of its Bing search engine, which features a chatbot powered in part by an OpenAI artificial intelligence model.

Three months ago in early February, Redmond had announced it was bundling AI capabilities into both its Bing search engine and Edge browser.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President & Consumer Chief Marketing Officer Yusuf Mehdi at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. (Photo by Dan DeLong, via Microsoft)

Bing search engine

That debut of its limited preview version of Bing, powered by OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT, was available to users with a waitlist.

But from this week, Microsoft is now opening it up to all users without a waitlist – as long as they’re signed into the search engine via Microsoft’s Edge browser.

“Just three months ago, we unveiled the new AI-powered Microsoft Bing and Edge to reinvent the future of search with your copilot for the web,” wrote Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP and consumer chief marketing officer at Microsoft.

“We aimed to tackle a universal problem with traditional search – that nearly half of all web searches go unanswered, resulting in billions of people’s searches falling short of the mark,” wrote Mehdi. “We launched the new Bing to bring you better search results, answers to your questions, the ability to create and compose, and with a new level of ease of use by being able to chat in natural language.”

Last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Bing had crossed 100 million daily active users.

Mehdi confirmed that in just 90 days, Bing has grown to exceed 100 million daily active users and daily installs of the Bing mobile app have increased 4X since launch.

“As a result we are seeing growth of Bing share and it follows the eight straight quarters of growth in our Microsoft Edge browser share,” he wrote. “We’re excited about continuing to make Bing more accessible by its introduction to the Windows taskbar, reaching over half a billion customers every month.

Opened access

“Today I’m thrilled to share we are moving to the next generation of AI-powered Bing and Edge to transform the largest category of software in the world – search – by greatly expanding the vision and capabilities we think of as Your Copilot for the Web.

To achieve this Microsoft is:

  • Opening up Bing to more people by moving from Limited Preview to Open Preview and eliminating the waitlist for trial;

  • Moving from text-only search and chat to one that is more visual with image/video answers and coming shortly, new multimodal support;

  • Moving from single use chat/search sessions to multi-session productivity experiences with chat history and persistent chats within Edge;

  • Opening up platform capabilities so developers and third parties can build on top of Bing to help people take actions on their queries and complete tasks.

“Thanks to tremendous customer adoption, engagement and feedback, we’re ready to take the next step and are announcing the new Bing is now in Open Preview and no longer has a waitlist,” wrote Mehdi. “This means that it will now be easier than ever for everyone to try the new Bing and Edge by simply signing into Bing with your Microsoft Account.”

Google’s search engine of course remains that the industry goliath.

Microsoft had introduced its Bing search engine in 2009 and is working hard to present a more formidable challenge, with help from OpenAI.

Microsoft in March also enhanced its core productivity tools, including Word, Excel and Outlook, with ChatGPT technology.

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