Today, Microsoft has revealed a new way to use Bing. Web searches can now be made which reference the previous search. This creates a more natural method of getting information from web search results. Obviously this function works most reliably with simple facts about people, places, movies, etc.
These conversations build upon Bing’s ability to return factual queries above the web search results. For example, searching for “what is the capitol of the US,” Bing returns Washington D.C. as expected. Now, after searching for the capitol of the US, you could type “what is the population there” and Bing will return “Washington, D.C. population 646,449 (2013).”
This is another feature in a string of improvements Microsoft has given Bing in recent months. Microsoft seems to be using their strengths in natural language to improve their web searches. Recent changes, including code samples and FAQs, further differentiates Bing from Google when it comes to web searches.
It will be interesting to see if this function makes its way to the many Bing powered products. Currently this functionality is working in Cortana, but not in Windows 8 search. We will have to wait and see if Microsoft will roll this out to other products powered by Bing, such as the Mac Spotlight, Amazon Fire Phone and Kindle Fire tablets.
What do you think about conversational searches? Would you find this useful? Will this bring more people from Google over to Bing? Let us know in the comments below!Further reading: Bing, Microsoft, Natural Language