Microsoft brings the new Bing to Windows 11 and launches Phone Link for iOS

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Microsoft is wasting no time in bringing its new AI-powered Bing to all of its products. After being introduced in its Edge browser and then brought to the Edge, Bing and Skype apps on mobile, today it’s Windows 11’s turn to welcome the new Bing to its taskbar.

This is part of a major Windows 11 upgrade that also includes the first preview of Phone Link for iOS, which lets you make calls and reply to messages from your iPhone on your Windows PC, tabs in the default Notepad app, and new energy features recommendations, a redesigned Quick Assist app to make it easier to remotely help your parents with their computer problems, and more.

If you are a Windows 11 user, you are surely familiar with the search box that is integrated into the taskbar by default. There you will now find the new Bing, waiting for your questions and unwilling to talk about itself.

As Microsoft points out, with over half a billion monthly users, the search box is one of the most used features in Windows. That’s a very prominent place for the new Bing. Indeed, the low-single-digit market share Bing search engine probably has fewer monthly users than that. To access the new Bing, you’ll still need to join the waitlist (if you haven’t already), so not every Windows 11 user gets access right away.

Image Credits: Microsoft

It’s no secret that Microsoft has taken quite a bit of criticism since launching Bing earlier this month. In many ways this felt like a rushed release, but to Microsoft’s credit, many of the issues discovered by Bing’s early adopters have since been fixed. It’s also one thing to use the Bing chatbot to get a hostile response to it, while it’s a completely different experience to use it to help you in your day-to-day searches. But we clearly need to explore the edge cases and Microsoft clearly should have done more of that before launching. At this point, Microsoft has overindulged the bot. It’s fine that it doesn’t want to talk about itself – after all, it’s not a politician – but with only six turns in each conversation, I constantly reach a point in the conversation where I’m researching an interesting topic and it just shuts me down (or it will ask me if I want a recipe for something – and it really likes asking questions now – and when I say I do, it haunts me…).

Image Credits: Microsoft

As for the Phone Link preview for iPhone, it’s worth noting that this is still a very limited preview that will only be available to users who sign up for the Windows 11 Insider release channels – and even then, it will only roll out for now a limited number of testers. I’ve been using the Android version for a while now and it’s very solid, with messages, calls, and alerts all popping up on my desktop. That’s what the app promises to do and that’s what it delivers. We’ll have to see if the iOS version works just as well, of course.

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