Windows 11 update adds the new Bing to the search box

  • Windows 11 is getting a few AI-powered upgrades as part of it’s latest update.
  • This includes Bing powered search in the Windows taskbar search box.
  • The update includes recommendations for improved energy efficiency.

Since announcing further investment in OpenAI, Microsoft has been quick to launch implementations of the firm’s artificial intelligence in it’s technology. Now the software behemoth has revealed how it’s bringing AI to Windows 11.

On Tuesday, chief product officer at Microsoft, Panos Panay, detailed how Windows would be empowered by AI starting with the search box in the taskbar.

“The search box is one of the most widely used features on Windows, with over half a billion users every month, and now with the typable Windows search box and the new AI-powered Bing front and center to this experience you will be empowered to find the answers you’re looking for, faster than ever before,” said Panay.

We’re rather averse to the search box and disable it the first moment we can. The incorporation of AI however, might change our opinion.

The CPO says that Windows users will be able to access the power of the new Bing – which is built on the back of ChatGPT – right from Windows, no need to launch anything else.

This functionality is part of a Windows 11 update that started rolling out on Tuesday. Microsoft users who have access to the Bing preview will reportedly be able to access the functionality as soon as this update is installed.

One area that AI is being applied to that piqued our interest is in the Start menu, although this is only for certain types of Windows configurations.

“Available on Windows 11 Pro devices and higher that are Azure Active Directory (AAD) joined, we are personalizing your experience by delivering AI-powered recommended content within your Start menu. Simply click to open the Start menu and find related content to help you prepare for upcoming meetings, quickly access files you’re collaborating on, and more,” says Panay.

This should be rather good for businesses.

Apple users getting a Phone Link app

Microsoft also announced that Windows Insiders will be able to access a preview of Phone Link for iOS. The app will deliver basic iOS support for calls, message and contacts with notifications appearing through Windows notifications. Windows Insiders can find more information here.

The Phone Link connection with Android smartphone is said to be “stronger” now, and Samsung users get a bit of additional functionality.

“For those of you with a Samsung phone, we’ve made it easier to activate your phone’s personal hotspot with a single click from within the Wi-Fi network list on your PC. And with the Recent Websites feature, Samsung users can also now easily transfer their browser sessions from their smartphone to their Windows PC, allowing them to continue browsing effortlessly—a great way to stay in your flow,” Panay writes.

Windows Studio effects are also getting an upgrade thanks to AI including features such as eye contact, background blur, automatic framing and voice framing can now be used to enhance video calls. These features are now also more easily accessible from the quick settings in the taskbar.

South Africans plagued by loadshedding will be keen to see a host of new energy saving recommendations that will reduce your machine’s energy consumption.

All of these features and more should be delivered via the aforementioned update that should be available to all as March progresses. It may not be a massive feature update but there are some interesting applications of AI that we’re keen to play with.

Now if we could just get Android apps running on Windows 11 for all users, that’d be fantastic.


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