Bing, the search engine from Microsoft had changed quite a bit in the past year, and one of the significant improvement is on the consumer side. While you can always search on the web, Bing is also integrated into Windows 10 Search. Press the Start button, and start typing. It will display the search results for your query in the panel in real time.
If it looks like just a search result wrapped within a UI layer, then it’s not. Bing can now directly answer any query. Some of the results can also help you directly open the Windows core settings. The results are shown in the form of cards with more text from the web pages which makes it more interesting.
How Bing Search helps with answering Windows 10 queries
How does this work? What I understand is that Bing is making use of a Cognitive Toolkit which not only improves search relevance, it uses Deep Learning models for search prediction. In simple words, instead of throwing bunch links to the users, it offers a video, a complete answer to a simple query and even reveals details from a webpage before they visit the webpage.
Windows 10 Queries with rich experiences
Right now Bing takes a three-pronged approach to accomplish it.
- Editorial answers – These answers are handwritten by Windows editorial team available in the official support documentation
- Machine learn answers – Generated algorithmically by extraction answers from web documents
- Video answers – Mined algorithmically from Web & Video channels.
Microsoft calls it Windows 10 Queries with rich experiences and also integrates it with Windows 10 Settings. The results are incredibly helpful as they offer steps, and images for clear understanding.
Bing Search using Editorial answers
Microsoft has a massive database of help files. Bing can reveal these answers which are handwritten by Windows editorial team. The advantage of these results is that many a time they offer the option to directly open Windows Settings or any other panel on your computer, which can help users start interacting immediately.
Let us say your search for ‘how to connect to wifi’ from the Search box. You will see the search result as displayed above in the image. Clicking on the Connect to a Wi-Fi network button will directly open the WiFi Settings section.
It is the same if you search for this query on Bing.com as well.
You will see the search result as displayed above in the image. Clicking on the Connect to a Wi-Fi network button will directly open the WiFi Settings section on your computer.
This is pretty smart!
Compared to the usual search results, these editorial answers differ by offering rich experiences. Since both Bing and Microsoft Help belongs to the same company, it can pick up the right images and show the steps clearly for best results. Many a time, the answers are short, and consumers get the benefit of being able to solve their problem quickly.
Bing Search Results using Machine-learned answers
Apart from Microsoft support documents, there are a lot of Windows websites and blogs which do the same, but in their way. Bing is a search engine, and it can pick up answers from those pages if they fit well. They call this Machine-learned answers. The top result partially displays steps inside the page. The advantage is that consumers get to trust the results, and open the page for more details.
While Microsft does have their answers in long format when the Machine-learned answers rank higher, the pages from websites are put up front. It also depends on what you search for. Most of the time, these answers are for a complicated situation which involves multiple steps. You can always click on the link at the bottom which will reveal the complete Bing search result page.
Bing Search Results using Video answers
Videos have become a great help past few years, especially with ample bandwidth available at a lower price. Videos make sure you can get to see what’s going to happen without doing anything. By viewing videos, you can start following the instructions step by step. Bing curates such videos and shows them on the top.
Sometimes the videos can be played right in the results – but mostly they will open up on YouTube or any other video source.
Bing results get even more interesting when you search it on the web. The findings offer filters on the top for a general query for popular options. So when you search for how to change wifi password for Windows 10, you get to see filters like how to setup Linksys router password, how to reconfigure wireless router, how to put on your internet password, and so on.
It is a smart approach to reach the targeted set of consumers accurately, and refine the results for them.
I like how Microsoft has taken the strategy of helping end-users solve their problem with direct help and revealing answers. The native integration of Bing via Cortana makes it easier for anyone to start searching right away. It can be integrated within the Search bar of Settings as well. I am sure a lot of people search there.
I would love to a Search based virtual assistant from Microsoft. My idea is that the assistant can help consumers complete the steps one by one by using an editorial as the source.
While Bing is not the favorite search engine for consumers, the integration within the OS has started making a lot of sense. I would love to see if this integration can be taken further than just being available on the Start menu.
How often do you search using the Start menu? Do share your observations & comments below.