Microsoft Bing Logo 2020 Hero BrowserSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • A large banner ad now appears for some Bing users at the bottom of the search results page.
  • The banner shows a download button and an option to temporarily hide the ad but does not appear to have a link to find out more about the Bing Wallpaper app.

Microsoft's Bing search engine potentially has a new form of advertisement. This morning when searching for content related to trending news, I spotted a large banner ad at the bottom of the search results page. I can't say for sure if this type of banner ad is new to Bing. I use the search engine daily and perform hundreds of searches as part of my job each month. Until today, I had never seen an ad like this, especially one that was so large and intrusive.

Specifically, the ad is for the Bing Wallpaper app, which allows you to set your PC's background to the daily Bing wallpaper. Within the banner are buttons for downloading the app or hiding the ad. Notably, there doesn't appear to be an obvious way to learn more about the Bing Wallpaper app. You could, of course, search for the app and find out more, but there isn't a button to an about page for the app.

Clicking the download button opens Microsoft's website for Bing Wallpaper but also starts downloading an EXE file.

The banner ad appears at times regardless of if an adblocker is on or off. Microsoft also has a less intrusive ad for the Bing Wallpaper app that appears on the side of the search results page (shown above).

Microsoft received criticism for showing ads within File Explorer, though it turned out the feature wasn't meant to be publicly tested. An ad for the Bing Wallpaper app within the Bing search engine may not cause the same level of backlash.

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