Microsoft was already using AI in Office apps with tools like Word Editor for spelling/grammar checking and Design recommendations in PowerPoint. With the expectations of new Bing AI search powered by ChatGPT, Microsoft also gearing up to use the same new Bing AI in Edge browser. If successful, this could be a turning point to end the monopoly of Google in both search engine and browser world. Here is how AI is planned to be used in Edge and how you can get early access for Bing AI in Edge.
Accessing Bing AI in Edge
As the YouTube demo from Microsoft’s AI event shows, Bing AI will be integrated in the Edge’s sidebar. Open edge://settings/ in from Edge address bar and go to “Sidebar” section. Enable “Show Sidebar” option and you will see a list of icons showing on the right side. You can click “Customize sidebar” button to enable or disable apps and tools in the sidebar. Currently the sidebar has integration with important tools like Office apps to check all your documents from OneDrive and view them using the Microsoft 365 online editor. You can also edit the files using online Word, Excel or PowerPoint editor if you have premium Microsoft 365 subscription.
In future, you will have Bing AI app instead of the search box showing on top of the Edge sidebar section. Anytime, you can click on the Bing AI app to chat or compose a post for social media. In the demo, Microsoft explained how easy to create a LinkedIn post within few minutes to save your time. This makes much sense as LinkedIn is also a Microsoft owned company.
Update: Now, Bing AI chat is available for all users having a Microsoft account and you do not need to wait for approval anymore. Also, Bing AI chat icon is permanently placed on top of Edge sidebar which you can use to compose emails and draft blog posts. If you do not like the icon always showing, then lean how to remove Bing AI from Edge and Windows 11 Search.
Applying for Early Access
This is an experimental feature not yet available to anyone and there are no sample use cases like Bing AI chat search examples. If you are excited and want to get early access, then go to Microsoft Edge site and click on “Join the waitlist” button. This is the same waiting list for getting early access to Bing AI chat search, so you need not to apply again if you have already applied for that.
When prompted, login with your Microsoft account.
After that, you will see a success message showing you are added to the waiting list.
You will see additional options to speed up the early access process. It includes installing Bing browser extensions (called Microsoft defaults) on your other browsers like Chrome or Safari and installing Bing mobile apps on iOS and Android smartphones.
I am not sure how much it will really help to get the early access or in which way this will help you personally other than increasing Bing’s user base. So, do these additional steps only if you are already prepared your mind to use Edge and Bing. Otherwise, just wait for the approval to clear the waiting list and then you can decide later based on how things evolve.
Need Edge Developer Channel App
The last point is that Bing AI feature will not be available soon on the stable Edge version. After your waiting list is approved, you need to download and install the Edge Dev preview channel browser to try the new Bing AI chat in the sidebar. This Edge version is available as part of Microsoft Edge Insider program which is similar to Windows Insider Program.
- Go to edge://settings/help page in Edge browser.
- Scroll down and check under “Microsoft Edge Insider” heading.
- You will see the details of preview channels and click “Learn More” button.
- This will take you to the Microsoft Edge Insider site where you can find the details of Beta, Dev and Canary versions.
- Click the “Download” button below Dev Channel and install the Edge Dev version on your system. The default download file is for Windows 10 and 11 editions. Make sure to click on the small arrow and select your OS to download the correct file required for your system.
When you get access for Bing AI, update your Edge Dev channel version (default update is available once in a week) and check if you can add Bing AI chat to the sidebar. Note that Edge Beta, Dev and Canary versions will work independently of the stable version. So, you can use these experimental preview channels along with your stable Edge without any conflicts.