Of course, there is still question marks over the actual number of people using Bing as a search engine, but Microsoft insists it does have a sizeable number of users, and cites the fact that one-third of desktop search results in the United States are done on Bing, in part because of its use by Yahoo.
Microsoft showed off the new features at a San Francisco event revolving around AI advancements, some of which are also coming to other products including virtual digital assistant Cortana.
Of more relevance to enterprise and small-to-medium biz customers will be new AI and learning-based assistant features for Office 365.
Along with AI improvements comes a partnership with Reddit to integrate content from crowdsourced Ask Me Anything sessions (AMAs) and other posts from Reddit communities within Bing search results.
"Often people are seeking answers that go beyond something that is a mathematical equation", said Jordi Ribas, Microsoft's vice president for AI products in a statement.
To find the appropriate perspectives, Bing is using neural networks -AI-driven computer systems based on human brains- to search for possible answers across multiple authoritative sources. Microsoft Whiteboard Preview is built for teams who ideate and work together across multiple devices and locations. These include incorporation of its artificial intelligence (AI) research to provide smarter answers to search queries, as well as a partnership with Reddit.
Google Assistant is coming to Android tablets, older smartphones
As for devices that support the Google Assistant , phones that run at least Marshmallow can have the feature enabled. And for Android Lollipop smartphone users, Google is rolling out the update in two languages- English and Spanish.
Bing users whose queries are best answered with relevant Reddit conversations will see those conversations at the top of the page.
These new features are rolling out now in the U.S., Microsoft says, with other markets to come in the future.
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced support for its Cortana digital assistant to access Google Calendar data.
Starting next month, Cortana will be able to sort emails across Outlook and Gmail, and offer voice-spoken summaries of the most important ones. This feature will roll out to Word Online for Office 365 commercial subscribers in 2018. Text in image search is now rolling out and will be available to all Office 365 commercial subscribers by the end of December.
Microsoft is expanding existing functionality within Outlook that helps users detect trips and deliveries, triage email and schedule meetings. When it is time to leave for appointments, Outlook will now send a notification-with directions for both driving and public transit-taking into account current location, the event location, and real-time traffic information. From document translation to intelligent threat detection, AI is already enhancing the productivity experience of over 120 million commercial Office 365 users.