AI-powered Bing launches for all users with chatbot history, plugins and more

Bing’s chatbot history lets you pick up where you left off and return to your previous exchanges with Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered chatbot, now in public preview.

Microsoft's marketing image showcasing the biggest new features for AI-powered Bing
New AI features have arrived to Bing | Image: Microsoft
  • Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing search engine is now available for anyone to try with new features like video answers, inline actions and chat history.
  • Bing’s AI chatbot is also gaining plugin support, with upcoming integrations from OpenTable for restaurant reservations, Apple TV for movie searches, Wolfram Alpha for visualizations and many more.
  • You can try out the new features as long as you’re signed into Bing with your Microsoft account. For optimal results, use Microsoft’s Edge browser.

Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing chatbot is in public preview

Following a limited preview version of the AI-powered Bing search experience three months ago, Microsoft on May 4, 2023, announced that the “new Bing” is now available to all users without a waitlist. All you need to do is sign in with your Microsoft account at using the Edge browser.

Apple’s Safari and other browsers are supported, too, but you’re recommended to use Edge to try out the latest Bing features.

New features for Bing’s AI chatbot:

  • Image search: You’ll soon be able to upload images to find related content.
  • Chat history: Bing now allows for multi-session experiences.
  • Response styles: Customize Bing’s responses from lengthier to shorter.
  • Export responses: You can export Bing’s responses as a Word document.
  • Plugins: Soon, third parties will be able to extend Bing’s functionality.

Persistent chat and Bing’s chatbot history

This was the biggest request from users. It used to be that closing a chat session made Bing forget all the interactions it had with the user, but not anymore—Bing now has a history across sessions, letting you pick up later right where you left off.

And to make life easier for people who rely on Bing as a research tool, Bing will soon be able to export your chats to Word and share your exchanges on Twitter.

Third-party plugins for Apple TV movie searches, etc.

Microsoft’s Bing Blog says third-party plugins will start rolling out in a few weeks. The company has confirmed working with several notable developers to help extend Bing’s functionality into new areas. Third parties providing custom actions for Bing include OpenTable for restaurant bookings, Apple TV for movie searches, OpenAI for integrations, etc. Bing plugins will let you complete tasks inline.

Searching for nearby restaurants can also suggest the best reservation time for you and help you book it all within the Bing interface. Bing’s AI can also automatically open the correct site to start playing the movie for search results.

Visual search

Microsoft also enriched Bing’s image and video results with charts, graphs and updated formatting of answers. More importantly, an upcoming new feature will allow people to ask Bing for specific photos or videos of objects, places, animals and more (this will surface real results, not AI-generated art). Bing’s Image Creator tool for creating images is now available in over 100 languages.

Edge-specific features

All the features mentioned so far work across Edge, Firefox and Safari browsers, but specific capabilities are only available in Edge.

For example, the compose feature in the Edge sidebar provides new tone options for generating text. Microsoft has said that the mobile version of Edge will soon let you ask questions about the currently opened page like on desktop Edge.

And opening a link from the Bing chatbot’s answer will prompt Edge to automatically move that chat into its sidebar, which lets you keep conversing with the bot while continuing to browse the site.

Bing hits 100 million daily active users

According to Microsoft, Bing now gets more than 100 million daily active users. This is an impressive figure but a far cry from billions of people who use Google in their lives each day. If Bing suddenly disappeared, Microsoft wouldn’t bat an eye. Still, competition is always good and the example of OpenAI’s ChatGPT clearly shows it.

Microsoft was wise enough to move swiftly, having entered into an agreement with OpenAI to integrate its chatbot into a suite of products, ranging from Bing and Teams to Edge and Office, the SwiftKey keyboard and more.

Therećs no denying that recent AI breakthroughs resulted in a new sense of urgency in this industry, and Microsoft saw too good an opportunity to ignore.