- Bing’s new chatbot powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 artificial intelligence model.
- Microsoft expands Bing’s capabilities, adding new features and integrations with third-party services.
- Despite increased consumer web search share, Bing’s impact on search revenue remains limited.
Microsoft announced on Thursday that it has removed the waiting list for its revamped Bing search engine, allowing anyone with a Microsoft account to access it. The new Bing, unveiled in February, features a chatbot powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 artificial intelligence model, similar to the popular ChatGPT bot.
Google remains the leader in search advertising, but Microsoft aims to become a stronger competitor with Bing, which was introduced in 2009. Microsoft estimates that for every percentage point increase in search market share, its revenue will grow by $2 billion. ChatGPT, which appeared in late November, has generated interest in generative AI technologies that produce text, images, and other content in response to human input. Microsoft provides cloud services for ChatGPT and offers GPT-4 to businesses interested in using generative AI.
Microsoft plans to incorporate the GPT-4 AI model into Microsoft 365 productivity software and release a chatbot for security professionals, among other products. Meanwhile, Google is working on adding generative AI to its search engine and has a language model that rivals GPT-4.
Divya Kumar, global head of marketing for search and AI at Microsoft, expressed positive signals since Bing’s launch. Last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that Bing had surpassed 100 million daily active users.
However, Bernstein analysts led by Mark Shmulik noted that despite Bing’s increased consumer web search share, it hasn’t significantly impacted search revenue. Bing reached #4 on the US iOS App download rank in early February but experienced a decline in download momentum throughout March and April.
Microsoft is expanding Bing’s capabilities, adding features such as resuming previous chat conversations and exporting chats to Microsoft Word documents. Bing will also display images and other media in chat messages when appropriate.
Bing plans to integrate with third-party services like OpenTable and Wolfram Alpha, allowing users to access and act on current information while interacting with the chatbot. OpenAI introduced a similar concept called plug-ins for ChatGPT in March, but those interested must first join a waiting list.
Kumar stated that more information on developing for Bing’s chatbot would be provided at the Microsoft Build developer conference, starting on May 23.
Users must access the new Bing through Microsoft’s Edge web browser on PCs or the Bing app on mobile devices. Google has not yet allowed Bing’s chatbot to be used on its Chrome browser. Yusuf Mehdi, consumer marketing chief, noted that Edge has increased its share of the web browsing market every quarter for the past two years. Microsoft includes Edge in its Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems, with Bing as the default search engine.
Microsoft is updating Edge so that when users open a result during a Bing chat, the chat will move to a sidebar in Edge to keep the conversation going.