Bing with ChatGPT has been a massive success for Microsoft. The once-derided search engine has experienced a rebirth thanks to the infusion of ChatGPT's AI technology and is now integrated into Microsoft apps from Edge browser to Swiftkey keyboard.
Now, Microsoft is making it so almost everyone can take Bing Chat out for a test drive. It announced today (May 4) that the new Bing with ChatGPT is leaving limited preview and entering an open preview phase. This means that you no longer need to join the Bing with ChatGPT waitlist to experience the new Bing.
Plus, this open preview comes with a ton of new features and upgrades, so there's never been a better time to check out Bing's chatbot. You just need a Microsoft account and Microsoft Edge — sorry Chrome fans, Bing Chat is still limited to Microsoft's web browser. Or you can try using the Bing mobile app if you prefer to explore Bing on your phone.
These features are all either currently rolling out or rolling out soon, so if they don't work for you right away don't panic.
Actions in Bing and Edge: Plugins for Bing with ChatGPT
Bing Chat actions could be a game changer that takes the Bing chatbot from generative AI to a virtual assistant. With actions, Microsoft is now opening up Bing Chat to allow third-party developers to add plugins.
In the tech demo for Bing actions, Microsoft used Bing’s OpenTable plugin to find and book a reservation at a restaurant just by asking the chatbot to find a new restaurant in New York City. In another example, Microsoft showed how just asking Bing with ChatGPT to play a movie would get Bing to not only provide you with a list of streaming platforms where you can watch it but to then queue up the movie on that streaming platform.
If these features work as well as they did in the tech demo, this is a massive upgrade for Bing and a huge advantage over Google Bard and even Google Search. Practically, it’s even a huge advantage over ChatGPT given that you currently need ChatGPT Plus to use ChatGPT plugins. I will definitely be testing Bing actions to see if they can make my search experience as efficient as Microsoft promises.
Bing Chat history and export features
Another upgrade that Bing is getting is that it now keeps a history of your chats so you can resume where you left off. Microsoft is touting this as a research tool, and to be fair other chatbots such as ChatGPT and Bard have similar features for the same reason.
That being said, you may not actually want Bing to save your chats given security and privacy concerns. And given Microsoft Edge was recently reported to send all your visited pages to Bing, those concerns wouldn’t be unfounded.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t currently seem that there is a way to disable this feature, but it may come later or simply not have been announced yet. ChatGPT just announced a feature to to disable chat history and training on ChatGPT, so it's possible that Bing Chat — which runs on GPT-4 — won’t get a similar feature.
Another feature you’re getting is the ability to export chats, which can be seriously useful. With this latest Bing update, you export chats to Word just by downloading them in the Bing Chat interface.
User interface upgrades
Finally, there are a few user interface upgrades coming to Bing with ChatGPT. Microsoft has promised that this latest version of Bing Chat will take advantage of GPT-4’s multimodal capabilities and provide more visual answers, including charts and graphs, images, knowledge cards and videos. Bing Image Creator, which previously only worked in Bing Chat if you selected the Creative tone, will now also work with the Balanced and Precise tones in Bing.
Aside from these multimodal features, Bing is also getting support for over 100 languages, which will be a huge help now that the chatbot is open to everyone. New multitasking features are coming as well. If you click on a link in the chat, Edge will now take you to that link while keeping your existing chat in the Edge sidebar.
It’s unclear if some of these features will be limited to Edge browser on a desktop or if Microsoft’s Bing and Edge mobile apps will also get all these new upgrades. But Microsoft regularly showed off Bing on desktop and mobile throughout its tech demo, so we’re hopeful that the upgraded chatbot will be available on most devices once these features roll out.