Microsoft released a Windows 11 update on 28th Feb 2023 with handful of new features. Notable amongst them is to use Bing AI in the Windows search box which is now typable by default. In past few weeks, Microsoft introduced ChatGPT powered new Bing AI in the mobile apps and offered a preview for Bing AI powered search and Edge sidebar. Though there are lot of controversies going on about the response from Bing AI, Microsoft went ahead and added the capability in Windows search.
How to Get Windows 11 Bing AI Search?
For using Bing AI in Windows search, go to “Settings > Windows Update” and install the latest Windows version on your computer. Remember the followings:
- Bing AI feature is available on Windows 11 and not on Windows 10. Check out this article on how to upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 or transfer your digital license from old device.
- You should have first updated your system to Windows 11 22H2 version to get the latest updates.
- Your Microsoft account is eligible for Bing AI preview. Learn how to apply for early access.
With the latest update, the default search box in the taskbar will look like below with Bing icon showing on right side of the search box.
If you are not seeing Bing AI in the search box, then the feature is probably not available in your geographical region. As per Microsoft’s announcement, the feature will be fully rolled out to all in March 2023 security release. In that case, you will see the typable search box with some colorful icon without Bing AI.
Unlike previous Windows 11 versions, now you have an option to type in the search box directly. However, searching from Start will show the old interface with search box on the top.
Impact of Bing AI in Windows Search
This could create two different problems – appropriate results and legal implications. Microsoft is betting on AI without appropriate testing or waiting time to incorporate the feedbacks. Unlike web search, Windows search is used by millions on daily basis primarily for file searches within the system. This includes all age groups without restrictions and any inappropriate results will lead users to disable the search box completely. You can do this by going to “Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar items > Search > Hide”.
The search feature already shows poor Bing web search results from local geography without any options to customize. For example, if you bought the laptop from China, Windows search and Bing will force Chinese versions regardless of your regional settings. So, it is not clear how legal implications on devices produced by these countries will be taken care with this new Bing AI (China also blocks Bing AI).
Microsoft also previously released a chat bot called Tay and taken down the service within few hours of public release due to its misleading tweets. We have to wait and see whether they have learned any lessons from that or this new Bing AI is another repetition.
Other Features with Feb 2023 Windows Update
In addition to Bing AI in Windows 11 Search, there are also additional features available in this release.
- Phone Link is extended to iOS to get iMessage and call notification alerts on your Windows device. This is only available for Windows Insider Preview and not for all public users.
- Access Windows Studio Effects settings from Taskbar quick settings.
- Improvements in Chat for navigating between conversations.
- New additional widgets.
- Slide away taskbar for touch devices.
- Snipping Tool with screen recording feature.
- Notepad app with tabs.