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

Photo credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is wasting no time 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 devices, 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 take calls and reply to messages from your iPhone on your Windows PC, tabs in the default Notepad app and new energy recommendations, a redesigned Quick Assist app that makes it easier to help your parents with their computer problems remotely, and much more.

If you’re a Windows 11 user, you’re probably familiar with the search box that’s built into the taskbar by default. There you will now find the new Bing, waiting for your questions and not ready to talk about itself.

As Microsoft notes, with over half a billion monthly users, the search box is one of the most used features in Windows. This is a very prominent placement for the new Bing. In fact, the Bing search engine, with its low single-digit market share, probably has fewer monthly users. Access to the new Bing still requires you to join the waiting list (if you haven’t already), so not every Windows 11 user will get access right away.

Photo credit: Microsoft

It’s no secret that Microsoft has faced a fair amount of criticism since Bing first launched earlier this month. In many ways, this felt like a rushed release, but to Microsoft’s credit, many of the issues Bing’s early adopters found have since been fixed. It’s also one thing to use the Bing chatbot to get some kind of hostile reaction from it — while using it to aid in your day-to-day quest is a completely different experience. But of course we have to examine the edge cases, and clearly Microsoft should have done more of that itself before it hits the market. At this point, Microsoft has contained the bot too much. It’s okay that it doesn’t want to talk about itself — it’s not a politician, after all — but with only six turns in each conversation, I consistently reach a point in the conversation where I’m exploring an interesting topic, and it just gets me going Silence down (or it asks me if I want a recipe for something – and it now loves to ask questions of its own – and when I tell it I do, it spooks me…).

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Photo credit: Microsoft

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