What you need to know
- Microsoft is prompting some Google Chrome users to try the new Bing Chat.
- Up to this point, Microsoft Edge has been the only browser with official access to Bing Chat.
- Clicking on the presented prompt takes you to a page to enable the Bing extension.
- Enabling the extension sets Bing as your default search engine, but you can't use the new Bing at this time.
Bing Chat is an AI-powered chatbot that brings together web search and artificial intelligence. Up until now, Bing Chat has been limited to the Microsoft Edge browser, at least when referring to the desktop. Microsoft has been open about the fact that Bing Chat would eventually make its way to other browsers, but we haven't seen any movement on that front. That is, until today when our Kevin Okemwa opened up Google Chrome.
When Okemwa launched Chrome, he was presented with a prompt to "Try the new AI powered Bing in Chrome." Clicking on that prompt opened this page about the new Bing and asked him to enable the Microsoft Bing extension.
Enabling the extension sets Bing as your default search engine and opens the Bing homepage. It does not, however, provide access to the new Bing. If you try to use Chat mode, you'll see a screen saying "Chat mode is only available when you have access to the new Bing."
Signing into a Microsoft account that does have access to the new Bing does not allow the chatbot to work on Chrome, at least in our testing.
When Microsoft launched Bing Chat earlier this year, many were disappointed about the fact that it was limited to Microsoft Edge. That led to people creating extensions that provided access to Bing Chat on any browser. Vivaldi also came up with a workaround to let people use Bing Chat by pretending to be Microsoft Edge.
These were always going to be temporary workarounds as Microsoft worked on official support. It seems that day isn't too far off, as Microsoft is now asking people to use Bing Chat in Chrome.
We've reached out to Microsoft for clarification regarding the prompt and if the company is testing access to the new Bing on Google Chrome. We'll update this piece when we receive more information.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.
- Kevin OkemwaContributor