What you need to know
- Microsoft began testing a new feature dubbed No Search with a small group of Bing Chat users last month.
- The feature is designed to let users make use of the chatbot's capabilities directly, rather than having it refer to the web for answers.
- The company recently disclosed that it will be launching it as a plugin, and not as a feature as expected initially.
- Technical users will be able to tackle complex math problems and code better with this neat addition.
- It's unclear when Microsoft intends to ship this plugin to general availability.
Last month, then head of Advertising and Web Services at Microsoft, Mikhail Parakhin, revealed that the company had begun testing the No Search feature with a small group of users (Parakhin has since been promoted to help take over for the departure of Panos Panay). For those unfamiliar with what the feature does, it lets users leverage the tool's capabilities without having it refer to the web for answers.
This is among the top asks by technical users and will especially come in handy for those who often use the tool to tackle complex math problems and code. With the No Search feature, users will be able to get answers directly from the chatbot rather than having it refer from the web first.
Some people see this now :-) pic.twitter.com/xMPIDh85TcAugust 23, 2023
The feature was only available to a small group of Bing Chat users at the time. The company did not provide any additional information regarding when users should expect the feature to ship to general availability.
Concern about the availability of the feature has been on the rise among power users across social media platforms, but Parakhin, who now heads the Windows and Web Devices department at Microsoft, disclosed that the company is getting ready to ship the neat feature to general availability. However, the company will be releasing it as a plugin and not as a feature as initially expected.
Nah, we made it a plugin, UX-wise, and it is waiting for the general plugin rolloutSeptember 25, 2023
While we are now certain that the plugin is on its way to Bing Chat, it's not yet clear when the company will make its official release.
More plugin support for Bing Chat
Recently, Microsoft quietly rolled out three new plugins to Bing Chat: Adobe Express, MathSolver, and Spotify. The company announced that it would add plugin support to Bing Chat during its annual developer conference, Build 2023, and has now started delivering on its promise.
Notably, the feature is limited to Edge Canary users and is still in A/B testing. However, it is likely to ship to more users soon. Plugin support will allow developers to create plugins with one platform that work with ChatGPT, Bing, Dynamics 365 Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and Windows Copilot.
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Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.