Bing (Firefox Extension)for Windows

20090601

10

Microsoft Bing boasts over a decade of experience in the search engine industry. It is available to access via Bing's website address, by installing a local desktop software on your computer, or an app on your mobile device. Bing's desktop installation is straightforward and quick. The file size is 10 MB, making it minimal. Upon installation, a simple, small toolbar is placed on your desktop. A search bar is the most prominent feature of this Bing toolbar, with mini icons to change your desktop wallpaper, view your local weather, view trending news, or see trending images. Hover over the icons and get a preview of each category. 

What are the capabilities of Microsoft Bing?

Bing Search has the company credibility of Microsoft and its desktop app makes performing your quick searches even easier.

Want to perform a basic internet search? Simply type your search criteria into the search bar and Bing will pop open a web browser with your results in a matter of seconds. The Bing Search toolbar may be minimized and brought back up again at your preference. There are many benefits to installing the desktop app versus accessing Bing search via its website. By having Bing desktop installed, users can highlight a word or phrase with their mouse to preview search results. This facilitates faster and more efficient work. Bing search results are optimized to make your life easier. One example of this is Bing's display of customer service information on the search page, getting users the information they want even faster. Bing also features a video thumbnail preview where just by hovering on a video preview, the video will play in the thumbnail.

Microsoft Bing's power goes beyond just internet searches. With offerings like Bing Dictionary, Events, Local, Health, Recipe, Maps, Social, Translator, Visual Search, and Weather, users get more robust results and can narrow down their search within a specific add-on. A settings gear icon can also be found on the Bing Search toolbar, allowing users to update general settings (search history, auto-pasting copied text into search bar, etc.), preferences (taskbar icon, keyboard shortcuts), worldwide (set your country of preference), quality (opting in or out of sending Microsoft your search and usage data to help improve results), and about (privacy statement, terms of use, online help, and contact us). The Bing Search for desktop tool offers users assistance in the Help section of the settings tab, where a browser pops up with relevant articles, FAQs, and quick tips.

Microsoft's privacy statement is similar to that of other large tech companies (like Apple and Google), however Microsoft carries a more positive reputation when it comes to data collection than its competitor, Google. Microsoft will collect data surrounding users' activity, interactions, and experiences with their products. The privacy statement notes that they use this data to improve their product offering, users' overall experience, personalize their products, and advertise and market to users with relevant offers based on your online behavior.

Where can you run this program?

Microsoft Bing is compatible with Windows 7, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista, Windows XP Professional Edition, and Windows XP Service Pack 3. Bing is available in nearly 40 languages.

Is there a better alternative?

The simple alternative to Bing Desktop is performing a Bing search via the web. This option reduces some functionality and makes the search process less accessible than the quick toolbar. Another comparable product is obviously Google Search. Google users can search the internet via Google's website, by installing a desktop search app, or with a mobile app as well. The companies' search capabilities and brand reputation are similar; however, Google catches more criticism for their data collection than Microsoft. Both options are free, highly secure, and provide quick search operations.

Our take

When it comes to internet searches, people want quick results from a secure, reliable company. Microsoft has one of the highest brand reputations in the industry and is trusted by 1.2 billion users. Its exemplary leadership, strong foundation, and innovative future-ready products are reason enough to stand by this company.

Should you download it?

Microsoft Bing search for desktop is an excellent tool for the quick internet searcher. A student, research professional, or non-fiction writer could greatly benefit from its easy accessibility. Download it if you need to access search results quickly and prefer a slightly less invasive privacy policy than Google’s. Users who do not want to install yet another software on their computer, and are comfortable with searching via Bing’s website, are better suited doing just that. Users who love Google products and have no strong preference regarding the collection of their data, are just as well using the Google website search or desktop app for their needs.

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