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“The race starts today”: Microsoft takes on Google Search with AI

“Most importantly, we want to have a lot of fun innovating again in search, because it’s high time.”

ChatGPT Plus. Google Bard. And now Microsoft’s AI copilot. 

Almost every day now heralds the launch of a new conversational AI service. 

The AI wars are well and truly underway!

The race starts today, and we’re going to move and move fast,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as he launched their new AI-powered search engine and browser.

“The internet search wars are back,” wrote Financial Times’ Richard Waters, noting that AI has “opened the first new front in the battle for search dominance since Google fended off a concerted challenge from Microsoft’s Bing more than a decade ago.”

Microsoft is looking to win this AI battle.

Daniel Ives, Analyst at Wedbush Securities, in a research note

AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search,” announced Satya. “We’re launching Bing and Edge powered by AI copilot and chat, to help people get more from search and the web.”

This technology will reshape pretty much every software category that we know. 

Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft

Satya said in an interview that Microsoft was working at a “frantic pace” to incorporate the technology into its products. By releasing a new search tool — what he called “the most used product on the planet” — people will see how their “everyday habit” could lead to “something magical.”

Most importantly, we want to have a lot of fun innovating again in search, because it’s high time.

Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft

“There are 10 billion search queries a day, but we estimate half of them go unanswered,” says Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President. “That’s because people are using search to do things it wasn’t originally designed to do. 

“It’s great for finding a website, but for more complex questions or tasks too often it falls short.”

The new Bing and Edge brings together search, browsing and chat into one unified experience users can invoke from anywhere on the web.

Image: Microsoft

The new Bing experience looks fantastic.

Sam Altman, OpenAI’s CEO

The new experience with AI copilot delivers:

  • Better search. An improved version of the familiar search experience, providing more relevant results for simple things like sports scores, stock prices and weather, along with a new sidebar that shows more comprehensive answers.
  • Complete answers. Bing reviews results from across the web to find and summarize the answer users are looking for. For example, you can get detailed instructions for how to substitute eggs for another ingredient in a cake you are baking right in that moment, without scrolling through multiple results.
  • A new chat experience. For more complex searches – such as for planning a detailed trip itinerary or researching what TV to buy – the new Bing offers new, interactive chat. 
  • A creative spark. There are times when people need more than an answer – they need inspiration. The new Bing can generate content to help users. It can help write an email, create a 5-day itinerary for a dream vacation to Hawaii, with links to book travel and accommodations, prep for a job interview or create a quiz for trivia night. The new Bing also cites all its sources.
  • New Microsoft Edge experience. Microsoft has updated the Edge browser with new AI capabilities and a new look, and added two new functionalities: Chat and compose.
Image: Microsoft

The stakes are high. AI may well represent the most consequential technology advance of our lifetime. And while that’s saying a lot, there’s good reason to say it.

Today’s cutting-edge AI is a powerful tool for advancing critical thinking and stimulating creative expression. It makes it possible not only to search for information but to seek answers to questions. It can help people uncover insights amid complex data and processes. It speeds up our ability to express what we learn more quickly.

Perhaps most important, it’s going to do all these things better and better in the coming months and years.

Brad Smith, Vice Chair & President, Microsoft

The new Bing is available now in a limited preview on desktop, and you can visit to try sample queries and sign up for the waitlist. The company is going to scale the preview to millions in the coming weeks. A mobile experience will also be in preview soon.