Bing now means business

Frederic Lardinois

Unless you're a regular Bing user, chances are you haven't thought about Microsoft's search engine all that much in recent years. While Microsoft has kept adding features to the service over time, its market share has remained pretty stable. At Microsoft's Ignite enterprise conference in Orlando, Florida, however, Bing took center stage for a little while because the company today launched the private preview of Bing for Business, as well as a few new tools for developers.

The idea behind Bing for Business, which is now in private preview, is to integrate data from the Microsoft Graph (that is all of your social graph inside your company, as well as your documents, emails and other data) to give you more personalized and contextual search results on Bing. Microsoft communications chief Frank X. Shaw explains that Bing for Business uses AI and the Microsoft Graph to "deliver more relevant search results in the Bing search page with a browser on any device based on your organizational context."

This means that when one of your colleagues has a very common name, Bing will prioritize search results about your colleague over those of others with the same name. Microsoft has been using this internally over the past year or so and Shaw described it as "insanely useful."

In addition to this, Microsoft is expanding the Bing developer APIs (which are part of the Microsoft Cognitive Services set of machine learning-based APIs) with a new custom search feature that lets developers create a customized search experience for a specific slice of the web, and an updates Bing Search API that promises to introduce more relevant search results and support for autosuggest and spellcheck.

The private preview of Bing for Business is now live and Microsoft plans to open these tools up to more businesses over time.

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