What you need to know
- Microsoft recently added a shortcut to Bing Chat to the Windows 11 Taskbar.
- The feature has received criticism for its poor implementation.
- Some reports claimed that Microsoft removed Bing Chat from the Windows 11 Taskbar, but that is not the case.
Microsoft recently rolled out a feature update to Windows 11. The update added Bing Chat to the Taskbar, an improved tablet mode, and several improvements to the operating system. Reports around the web claimed that Microsoft removed Bing Chat from the Taskbar before the functionality made its way to general users (the update is set to ship on March 14, 2023). That, however, was not the case.
Initial reports stated that the Search box in the Windows 11 Taskbar had been reverted to a version that did not have Bing Chat integration. They incorrectly inferred that information because the Bing icon stopped appearing in Search for some users. The reasoning for that switch was related to Search Highlights, not a removal of a feature.
"The Bing icon in the Search Box is being shown through the existing Search Highlights feature which shows daily rotating content. We will continue to rotate content over time, including the Bing icon. We welcome those in the preview to give us feedback so we can continue to learn and tune the experience over time," said a Microsoft spokesperson to TechRadar.
In fact, the Bing icon will appear within Search in the Taskbar if there is not a Search Highlight.
Our Managing Editor Daniel Rubino discussed how he missed the little cartoons within Search during the most recent Windows Central Podcast.
Huh, the cute little cartoons returned to the search bar. Maybe Microsoft heard my complaints about this on the podcast Friday 😜 pic.twitter.com/SunzPyBuz3March 6, 2023
Windows Central take
While Microsoft did not remove the Bing Chat shortcut from the Taskbar, there's an argument that the company should. As statedby our Senior Editor Zac Bowden, Microsoft integrated Bing Chat into Search within the Taskbar in a lazy and awkward way. The feature is essentially a shortcut to the Bing Chat webpage. There's no direct integration with the Taskbar, such as interacting with Bing Chat without using a browser.
"Clicking on any of the buttons and links related to Bing Chat will take you out of Windows Search and into Microsoft Edge, where you can continue using Bing Chat if you please. At no point is Windows doing anything AI related, because Microsoft hasn't actually added AI to search on Windows 11 with this latest feature drop," said Bowden.
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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.