Microsoft quietly puts in scientific calculator feature in Bing

Microsoft normally likes to tell the whole world when it puts in a new feature on the Bing website, but this week a very nice addition has been revealed with no fanfane from the company; people who go to the site can now bring up a 35 button scientific calculator.

All a user has to do to activate the calculator is to go to Bing.com and type in any simple math problem in the search box. Bing will then not only give the user the answer to the problem but also generates the virtual calculator, which can handle more advanced math issues like sines, cosines, and tangents, in addition to simple addition, subtraction and more. 

While it's great that Microsoft has put in this kind of functionality in Bing, Google added its own calculator on its search site nearly two years ago. Also, for some reason, the Bing calculator does not appear on at least some mobile web browsers such as Windows Phone's Internet Explorer or Google's Chrome. Hopefully Microsoft will expand this addition to more platforms in the future. In the meantime, PC users can at least go ahead and use the calculator to their heart's content.

Source: Bing via WPCentral | Image via Microsoft

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28 Comments

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Oop. Must have not noticed, it's new to within the last few months then Either way it's great to see new features being added.

I just remember using it last fall to convert Japanese yen to USD. ... Maybe it's now to outside the US? ... I know converting to Bitcoins is pretty new...

Either way, yes lol.

On the desktop? and who cares? Nowadays who buys a keyboard without a dedicated key to call the calculator?.

That's got nothing to do with it. Sorry, but your assertion that all keyboards have it so it's superfluous is rubbish because most OEM keyboard don't include it. Not everybody buys a new OEM computer then turfs the keyboard out that came with it to buy a new one with a calculator button.

Yes, my keyboard does have a calculator button, but I don't use cheap OEM garbage. However, the overwhelming majority of keyboards you do see are standard 104-key US style keyboards, and they don't include much in the way of additional buttons. However, if they do, the additional buttons tend to be media controls rather than a calculator button.

As an excellent example, the Logitech K400[r] keyboards, neither of them have calculator buttons and the r series are very new. Is this even important to me when I purchased the keyboards? Hell no. Why? Because I wanted the keyboard because of its usefulness and form-factor, and they do the jobs I require of them exceptionally well, not because they had a calculator button on them.

As usual, it works only in US I guess. Even though I have Bing in English, I don't get the calculator. It's things like these that make people turn to Google. When will those MS, pardon my French, idiots learn?

The statement about not supporting IE on WP is inaccurate; at least for WP8. You simply have to make sure that you insert a space after each char. and the calculator will show.

All a user has to do to activate the calculator is to go to Bing.com and type in any simple math problem in the search box. Bing will then not only give the user the answer to the problem but also generates the virtual calculator, which can handle more advanced math issues like sines, cosines, and tangents, in addition to simple addition, subtraction and more.

Well to be fair, Bing has had a calculator for years and years now. Except you just had to enter the values into the search box. And the search box has always been able to handle more advanced math issues like sines, cosines, and tangents.

The only difference is now they added some buttons you can now click so it "feels" more like a calculator.

http://i.imgur.com/YiQ5ZYs.jpg (did it on an international site, not the US one).

My guess is that they added this feature to gain more feature parity with Google - one less reason for people to stay with Google. Since they were copying the feature without adding anything majorly new or innovative compared to Google's calculator, they didn't feel a need to release it with any fanfare.

Really cool. I'd like to see integration with WolframAlpha though. Either way, this is a nice shortcut. Probably because it's annoying to go to modern ui, flip up, click on calculator, decide if you want modern ui calculator or desktop calculator, get the answer, flip back to desktop mode, and then put in your answer.

ccoltmanm said,
Probably because it's annoying to go to modern ui, flip up, click on calculator, decide if you want modern ui calculator or desktop calculator, get the answer, flip back to desktop mode, and then put in your answer.

Or, you know, hit the windows key and type 'ca', and hit enter. Boom. Desktop calculator. So hard. So different from Windows 7.

Is there a reason why they don't push these changes out to the international versions of the site in a reasonable time frame?

They have to translate it to other languages. For example, this calculator won't work in Italy unless it has Roman numerals.

Enron said,
They have to translate it to other languages. For example, this calculator won't work in Italy unless it has Roman numerals.

I hope you're jk lol

Enron said,
They have to translate it to other languages. For example, this calculator won't work in Italy unless it has Roman numerals.

This is a joke right?

Enron said,
They have to translate it to other languages. For example, this calculator won't work in Italy unless it has Roman numerals.

LOL