Microsoft unveiled its ChatGPT-powered “new Bing” this week, and it certainly has the attention of many. But “new Bing” is also Microsoft’s latest way to try and get you to switch from Google Chrome to Microsoft Edge.
The “new Bing” uses the power of ChatGPT’s AI to create a brand-new search experience that can be quite powerful. Instead of simply showing a list of links, users can see results to their queries in natural language with cited sources. It’s a neat idea, and when it works, one that can really improve how search works.
Related: Microsoft announces ‘new Bing’ as ‘AI-powered answer engine’
Microsoft beat Google to the punch here, with Google not yet launching “Bard,” its AI experience for Search. And clearly, Microsoft is taking advantage of that.
When signing up for the “new Bing” waitlist, Microsoft says you can get ahead in line by switching your system’s default browser to Microsoft Edge, as well as downloading the Bing app on Android or iOS.
But beyond that, Microsoft is also actively restricting Bing’s ChatGPT experience when you use Google Chrome and other browsers.
As you can see in the screenshots below from our Max Weinbach, Microsoft Bing prevents users from accessing the chat experience powered by ChatGPT unless you use the Microsoft Edge browser. You can still make searches and get elements from the “new Bing” from other browsers, but “conversational search” and the ability to generate responses from prompts are locked to Edge.
This really comes as no surprise. Microsoft and Google have gone back and forth with their various products trying to get users to stick with, or switch, to their browser. In this case, there might be a reason Microsoft wants you to stick with Edge, as the company’s browser actually integrates with this AI experience and builds on it, whereas Chrome does not.
Could this change in the future? Sure! But even if Microsoft’s goal is to support this new Bing fully in Chrome, the company probably isn’t eager to give up a feature that would actually pull in new users.
More on Search:
- Microsoft announces ‘new Bing’ as ‘AI-powered answer engine’
- Google announces Bard, powered by LaMDA, to compete with ChatGPT
- Comment: As Bard and Bing usher in AI-powered search, Google needs to punish SEO spam
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