Even as Microsoft continues to improve its own Bing Chat chatbot, it's reportedly trying to stop possible rivals from using the company's search data. That's according to a new report from Bloomberg (via The Verge) which claimed, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft has sent warnings to two search engines that get their data from Bing.
The report doesn't name the specific search engines, but it does say that Microsoft has told them if they use its Bing API to power their own chatbots, they may cancel their contracts and pull their Bing search support.
Bing has been the main search engine source for Yahoo for over a decade. However, Yahoo has yet to announce any chatbot features. DuckDuckGo, which does use the Bing API for some of its search data, recently announced the generative AI program DuckAssist. However, the company did say that DuckAssist gets its answers from Wikipedia, which may let them avoid a fight with Microsoft.
Neeva is another search service that gets some data from Bing. Earlier in 2023, it announced NeevaAI, which is a search browser extension that offers answers to questions.
In a statement sent to Bloomberg, a Microsoft spokesperson stated:
We’ve been in touch with partners who are out of compliance as we continue to consistently enforce our terms across the board . . . . We’ll continue to work with them directly and provide any information needed to find a path forward.
Microsoft has seen interest in Bing as a whole go up since it launched the public preview of Bing Chat in February. It likely doesn't want rivals, especially ones that might use the company's own data, to take some of its attention away.
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