New Bing announcement first impressions – an OnMSFT Roundtable

Kip Kniskern

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Microsoft showed off what it’s calling, at least in part, “the new Bing,” an AI infused take on search built on the power of ChatGPT. While we’re still waiting for a chance to try out the new Bing, our staff here at took some time to offer their first impressions after watching the webcast and gathering up what info we have so far on the news.

What are your first impressions of “the new Bing?”

Amaan Rizwaan: Microsoft has joined the AI-powered chat bandwagon, but it feels like a de-incentivizing scheme aimed at content creators when they had the chance to be better.

David Allen: It has an Apple Spotlight vibe. Well packaged by Microsoft and good execution for the first version.

Kareem Anderson: The cynic in me reminds myself, these are demos and we’ll see what people actually use these tools for. I hope there is a more seamless way for “normal” people to receive this going forward.

Kevin Okemwa: I particularly like the new search experience that will now get the user closer to the answer, courtesy of the annotated AI-generated answers.

Kip Kniskern: Microsoft has put together an ambitious package but it’s very Bing/Microsoft centric/Microsoft Account oriented – having to use an MSA and the heavy handed push toward Microsoft services make this, at first glance, as much of a marketing gimmick as a paradigm shift.

Robert Collins: I have to say that so far I am impressed. The idea of a more personalized way to search, particularly with the AI chat, sounds like it could really be a game changer.

How much of a difference will Bing Chat make?

Amaan: They have to adapt quickly and make it far better than the Big G to stand a chance here. The first-move advantage is long gone, but who can do it better? Google has the ball in its court.

David: I expect a slight impact in the short term, due to it being “new” and more interactive.  The impact could be more if users weren’t forced to sign into the ecosystem.  Long term, consumers tend to resist change, full adoption will be slow I think, with more of a hybrid search by users combining traditional and AI based.

Kareem: I don’t see it doing much. This is one instance in which Microsoft should really lean on its Windows market share to push Bing chat. Bake the search into Windows and make it prominent similar to spotlight search.

Kevin: Both the shopping and travel experience will shift for users leveraging this tool. Ultimately, allowing the user to do more with less.

Kip: I’m not sure the new Bing will make as big a dent in the marketplace as Microsoft execs seem to think.

Robert: I think it will take a while for this to catch on. No doubt there will be some kinks to iron out first, but all eyes will be on this new kind of search, and in the long term I do believe this will change the way we use the web.

How will having AI-powered chat in Bing change the way you search?

Amaan: Bing is known for bringing their own style to searches, and often has better results compared to Google. However, they lack a context that Google can offer to show better results. AI can play a key role in helping bridge that gap.

David: For generalization searches no, my habits won’t change.  For specific Question/Answer searches yes.  So far, I’ve seen the service excel at technology questions that require a direct and specific answer for example.

Kareem: I haven’t gotten a chance to really try it out, but I suppose it could help spark my more creative side. I could see this helping me formulate editorials so that they’re less rambling and more structured as well.

Kevin: As I highlighted above, the AI-powered chat in Bing will allow me to refine my search queries to meet my wants and needs. However, I am afraid that it will limit the information I get to access as it is tailored to answer the specific question.

 Kip: While yesterday’s presentation bemoaned the fact that most searches consist of three or less keywords, that’s probably the type of searching I do most, what Microsoft calls “navigational” search. I’m not sure I’ll be planning many trips through Bing (or taking many trips at all).

Robert: I don’t really use Bing, but obviously I’m going to check out the new Bing at the earliest opportunity. I often find myself trying to use long and intricate queries—usually with less-than-satisfactory results.

We’ll have lots more on the new Bing, and we’re eager to try it out. Satya Nadella promised to bring it to “millions in the coming weeks,” and it sounds like we’ll get access sooner rather than later. What are your first impressions of the event and the new Bing? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Image via DALL-E 2 “A Bing home page featuring elements of AI”