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Ignite 2018: Microsoft Search is a “supercharged” consistent search experience across Edge, Bing, Windows, and Office apps

Microsoft is consolidating its various search capabilities into Microsoft Search, a new omniscient search box that will be available across Bing, Office, and more Microsoft properties. The Microsoft Search announcement was made today at the company’s Ignite conference in Orlando, where Microsoft revealed new capabilities in Microsoft 365 for achieving more in the modern workplace.

Microsoft Search will be powered by the Microsoft Graph and AI technology from Bing, and it will exist as a simple search box available across Edge, Bing, Windows, and Office apps. Microsoft Search will be able to pull data from Office 365, and also leverage AI technology to help you find what you need when you need it. Search will become a much more seamless experience across Windows and Microsoft 365:

Over the next few months you’ll experience these first steps:

  • Search will move to a prominent consistent place across the apps you work with every day. From Outlook to PowerPoint, Excel to Sway, OneNote to Microsoft Teams, Office.com to SharePoint, the search bar will be in the same place—across desktop, mobile, and web.
  • Personalized results as soon as you click in the search box, such as people you share with the most and documents you were working on recently. No query is required to get suggestions.
  • The search box itself will also command the application where you are working. For example, begin typing ‘acc’ in Word to get list of suggested actions such as Accept Revision or Accessibility Checker. You no longer need to hunt through toolbars to look for a command.
  • Search results will include results from across your organization. For example, within Word, you can find not only other Word documents, but also a presentation you were working on. You can navigate straight to that presentation or you can choose to incorporate slides from that file directly into your document.
  • Extending that same organizational search experience wherever you are working—in Bing.com (when signed in with your Office 365 account), Edge or Windows. Search wherever you want to and get the same experience.
  • Unified administration of your organizational search results, including admin curated results such as bookmarks.

“We’re pulling together the power of the Microsoft Graph and AI technology from Bing to deliver future experiences that are more relevant to what you are working on,” explained Ron Markezich, CVP, Microsoft 365 Commercial. “This will include automatically answering questions such as “Can I bring my wife and kids on a work trip?” by using machine reading comprehension that takes knowledge of the world and pairs it with understanding of your organization’s documents,” he continued.

This all sounds pretty exciting and Microsoft Search is available in preview today on Bing.com, Office.com (including app start pages) and the SharePoint mobile app. Microsoft plans to bring this new capability to Edge, Windows, and the Office apps at a later date.

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Do you think Microsoft Search could become a key feature of Microsoft 365?