No More Waitlist For The New Bing, Plus Additional Features

Microsoft announced that they have now opened up access to Bing, plus additional features as they work toward their goal of being "Your Copilot for the Web"
Marie Aquino
May 4, 2023

Microsoft has announced that they have now opened up access to Bing, from being in Limited Preview to Open Preview, with no need to be on a waitlist to be able to try Bing Chat.

According to Microsoft, in just three months since they unveiled the new AI-powered Bing and Edge, their customers have engaged in over a half a billion chats using chat features to get summarized answers to help them with everything from finding the best place to travel for someone with pollen allergies, to organizing the last 10 years of worldwide volcanic activity into a table.

They have also seen people create over 200 million images with Bing Image Creator.

Since then, Bing has grown to exceed 100 million daily active users, and daily installs of the Bing mobile app have increased 4X since its launch.

Aside from opening access to Bing, they have also added more features. These include:

Making search more visual

From text-only search and chat, Bing is now introducing answers with more visuals, including images, video, charts, and graphs, depending on the type of question asked. The formatting of the answers have also been updated, to help users find the information they seek more easily.

Bing has also recently integrated their Bing Image Creator to the AI chat experiences, which made them the only search experience with the ability to generate both written and visual content in one place, from within one chat.

As further improvement, they are also expanding Image Creator to all languages in Bing – that’s more than 100 languages – so users can create images in their native language.

In addition, visual search in chat is now also possible. Users will be able to upload images and search for related content.

Making search more productive

According to Microsoft, two of the most requested features they’ve heard are maintaining access to a chat history and being able to share and export. These two features are now also made possible. Users will be able to pick up where they left off and return to previous chats in Bing chat with chat history and when they want to dig into something deeper and open a Bing chat result, the chat will move to the Edge sidebar, so the chat can be kept active while browsing.

They’re also exploring making chats more personalized by bringing context from a previous chat into new conversations.

Export and share functionalities will also be made available into the chat so users can easily share their conversations with others in social media.

Aside from that, users can export chats directly – the format stays the same –  to make an easy transition to continue in tools such as Microsoft Word.

Chat in Microsoft Edge will also soon have improved summarization capabilities for long documents, including PDFs and longer-form websites.

They are also introducing Edge actions that will be made available in the coming weeks. In this feature, users will be able to lean on AI to complete even more tasks with fewer steps. As an example, if you want to watch a particular movie, actions in Edge will find and show you options in chat in the sidebar and then play the movie you want from where it’s available. 

Edge mobile will also soon include page context, so you users ask questions in Bing chat related to the mobile page being viewed. The compose feature in sidebar can also now tailor drafts based on feedback provided like tone, length, phrasing, and more.

Redesigned Microsoft Edge

According to Microsoft, one in four Bing chats originate in their Microsoft Edge browser. As all the improvements roll out, the browser will also be getting a sleeker and enhanced user interface including a streamlined look, rounded corners, organized containers and semi-transparent visual elements.

Third-party developer access

Microsoft will soon build third-party plug-ins into the Bing chat experience creating a platform for developers.

For example, if you’re researching the latest restaurant for dinner in Bing chat, it will leverage OpenTable to help you find and book a reservation. Or, with Wolfram|Alpha, you can create powerful visualizations and get answers to complex science, math and human-curated data-based questions directly from Bing chat.

They are working with their partners at OpenAI to make it easier and as consistent as possible for developers to take advantage of this opportunity. This is because they believe these types of skills are a game-changer in the reinvention of search and to advance opportunities for developers in search.

Looks like there are a lot of additional features to look forward to in the Bing Chat experience and looks like Google must be really worried with all these changes and upgrades happening real fast. In fact, according to their announcement, they make weekly changes according to the feedback that they receive. Talk about fast!

A main point that Google pulls up whenever it comes to AI and why they are lagging behind competitors is their commitment to responsible AI. Microsoft has their answer to this and states –

“As we’ve said from the beginning, responsible AI is at the center of every new experience we build with the new Bing and Edge. And getting the new Bing into preview so we can learn from real-world testing and feedback has been critical to our success and ability to expand the experience to more users. We believe innovating and learning in the open is part of a responsible approach. But we don’t stop there. Together with our partners at OpenAI, we’ve continued to implement safeguards to defend against harmful content based on what we’re learning and seeing in preview. Our teams continue to work to address issues such as misinformation and disinformation, content blocking, data safety and preventing the promotion of harmful or discriminatory content in line with our AI principles. Learn more here about our approach to responsible AI with the new Bing.”

Read more of the announcement here.