Microsoft has made Windows 8.1 Bing Smart Search even smarter

Microsoft integrated its Bing search engine inside Windows 8.1 when the operating system update was released in October. Today, the company announced it will be rolling out some improvements to Bing Smart Search this week that are designed to make it easier to find answers to common questions.

The official Bing blog states:

Have you ever tried to get something done on your device but you weren’t exactly sure what you were looking for? For instance, how do I take a screenshot or how do set-up a printer? Based on the most common tasks people perform on Windows 8, we are taking steps to allow Smart Search to showcase results based on natural language understanding.

As the screenshots above show, the improved Bing Smart Search will direct users to the device setting feature in Windows 8.1 if they type in "install a printer". They can also type "my screen is to bright" so that the search engine can bring up the "change screen brightness" selection. This demonstrates that the company is taking steps to move the typical "help" functions in Windows to the Bing search engine.

Microsoft has also done some work to help Bing Smart Search determine what the user wants even if a word is spelled incorrectly. The improvements will be rolled out without the need for Windows 8.1 PCs to download a client update for the operating system, according to Microsoft.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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14 Comments

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I spent a good 10-15 minutes trying to get the 'run' command the other day in 8.1 Update 1

Gave up in the end. Not so smart search...

This is sort of sad.

On Windows 8.1 with BING stuff disabled.

Type "Screen Bright" and you get the setting. Ok that's not very human, so type "Screen is Bright" and you get nothing. No search results or suggestions at all. Simply adding the word "is" completely invalidates the entire query.

Search on Windows 8 has always been it's absolute weakest spot. I'd rather Microsoft use their money and time to fix my OS instead of shoe-horning in an online-only search provider (whom I dont want to use).

Try both: "screen is bright" and screen bright" in Classic Shell ;) or "install a printer" or "delete an app". Of course it's not the same as using an online search engine's intelligence to analyze the query but it looks up the system's list of keywords.

Personally, I think a round-trip to the web for local search results is unnecessary.

It'd be nice if you searched for "Printers" and it'd consistently return the printers option. For some reason, this only works sporadically for me.

PUC_Snakeman said,
"screen is too bright" vs "screen too bright" = different results.
Color me not completely impressed :)

No doubt but coding something like that is tedious. It will definitely get better.

And I can see this coming soon, cortana is going to add so much to the windows ecosystem! And to those that use it on desktop/mobile/xbox (as in - all in) I think it will be amazing!

duddit2 said,
And I can see this coming soon, cortana is going to add so much to the windows ecosystem! And to those that use it on desktop/mobile/xbox (as in - all in) I think it will be amazing!

Cortana, this game is too hard!
Enables cheat codes.