Microsoft made a big splash last week by unveiling an AI enhanced Bing. Its search site has long been the butt of jokes, with Google dominating the space, but people took notice of this new flavor of web search from Microsoft, which can do research for you as well as create stories, itineraries, menus, emails, and more.
The feature, powered by a next-generation OpenAI large language model more powerful than ChatGPT, is not available to all web users yet, but you can sign up for the waiting list to test it, as shown below. Here's how to access the new Bing faster, according to Michael Muchmore(Opens in a new tab) on Mashable's sibling site PCMag.com(Opens in a new tab).
But the list is quite long: Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi recently tweeted that millions have joined the waitlist(Opens in a new tab) and outlined the rollout process.
Hey all! There have been a few questions about our waitlist to try the new Bing, so here’s a reminder about the process:— Yusuf Mehdi (@yusuf_i_mehdi) February 15, 2023
We’re currently in Limited Preview so that we can test, learn, and improve. We’re slowly scaling people off the waitlist daily.
If you’re on the waitlist,… https://t.co/06PcyYE6gw pic.twitter.com/Lf3XkuZX2i
How to try to new Bing AI chatbot.
For now, you'll need to join a waitlist to try out the Microsoft Bing AI chatbot. Head to this website(Opens in a new tab), log in with your Microsoft account, and you're on the list. After that you'll see an option to Get Faster Access(Opens in a new tab).
Microsoft has a few suggestions for how best to move up the list. Here are the steps (which the utility download on the Faster Access page automates) that Microsoft says will get you the new features faster:
Make Edge your default browser(Opens in a new tab) (it runs on Windows obviously, but also macOS and Linux).
- Make Bing your default search engine(Opens in a new tab).
- Make MSN(Opens in a new tab) your default homepage.
- Pin Bing.com(Opens in a new tab) to the Taskbar.
- Add Microsoft-recommended sites to Favorites.
- Create a desktop shortcut for Microsoft Edge.
- Download the Bing app for your mobile phone.
MacOS users, of course, can’t get those Windows defaults, but when I tried the Fast Access link on a MacBook, it took me to the Bing wallpaper, so that may speed up access. And in Firefox it adds the Bing extension to that alternative browser. Apple users can also install the mobile app on their iPhone.
Getting the New Bing in the Edge Web Browser
If you’ve paid attention to the announcements from Microsoft, you know that the new AI chat and text-generation capabilities are also coming to the Edge web browser, which is available for Linux and macOS as well as for Windows. Remember, the new AI features will be built into Edge as well as available on the Bing website and mobile app.
As with Windows, there’s an Edge Insider program(Opens in a new tab) that gives users a taste of new features coming to future versions of the software. I thought installing the preview build would get me the new AI search, but my waiting list status was the same in all three preview builds of the browser.
So it turns out there’s no shortcut to avoid the waiting list. But if you follow the steps that Microsoft suggests, you should get the new search tools faster.
Even More Options
For more background, read about the other advantages of Bing(Opens in a new tab) and the Edge web browser(Opens in a new tab). Plus, read about alternative search engines(Opens in a new tab) and alternative web browsers(Opens in a new tab).
UPDATE: Feb. 17, 2023, 9:05 a.m. EST This story has been updated to clarify the AI integration in Microsoft Bing and the Edge web browser will use an OpenAI large language model that is more powerful than ChatGPT.
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