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Microsoft has launched a major update to Windows 11 that introduces a new AI-powered Bing search feature to the taskbar. This latest update offers Windows 11 users quick access to Bing chat, along with a host of other new features, including improvements to widgets, touch mode, and screen recording. Tabs have also been added to Notepad, and Microsoft has introduced a number of energy-efficiency improvements for laptops.
- Windows 11 Home — $139 from Microsoft / Amazon / Best Buy
- Windows 11 Pro — $199.99 from Microsoft / Amazon / Best Buy
The surprise addition of Bing to the Windows 11 taskbar has not been tested with Windows Insiders. A Bing icon will appear in the search box in the taskbar, with the new chat answers experience highlighted in the search flyout. Users can quickly start a Bing chat in Edge, provided they have access to the Bing preview.
According to Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s head of consumer marketing, “We’re reimagining what I think of as an increasingly AI-powered Windows for the future. This is a very important feature, today the search box is used by over half a billion people on a regular basis.”
More than a million people are currently testing the new Bing preview in 169 countries. Windows chief Panos Panay has said that “soon hundreds of millions of Windows 11 users can get access to this incredible new technology to search, chat, answer questions and generate content from right on their Windows taskbar.” This suggests that Microsoft is planning to greatly expand the new Bing preview.
In addition to Bing, Microsoft is opening up a preview of its Phone Link app for iOS, which means iPhone users can link their devices to Windows. This will include access to send and receive messages, calls, and notifications.
Other features introduced in the latest update include third-party widgets from Meta and Spotify, an improved touch experience, a screen recording tool, improvements to Teams, and redesigned Quick Assist app. Notepad fans will also be pleased to know that tab support is now available.
All of these new features are available now by manually checking for new updates from Windows Update. Microsoft has stated that these updates will roll out broadly in the March 2023 monthly security update release on March 14th.