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Microsoft Edge brings Bing AI chat to its new sidebar

BGR 3/14/2023 Joe Wituschek
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Microsoft has rolled out a new version of Edge, and with it, Bing is coming to the sidebar for everyone.

As per the release notes, Microsoft has rolled out Version 111.0.1661.41 of Microsoft Edge, the company’s web browser. In addition to a new experience to the Microsoft 365 tab of the Edge Enterprise New Tab Page and improvements to enhanced security mode, the latest version of Edge also brings the new sidebar out of preview to all users.

With the new version of the Edge sidebar, users can access the new AI-powered version of Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. This enables users to use the Bing Chat feature right in the sidebar rather than having to navigate to the Bing webpage and choose the Chat option.

In addition to faster access to Bing chat, the sidebar now also features what Microsoft calls Edge Copilot, which can provide “suggestions and insights based on the context of the web page and the user’s goals.” Users can also use the tool to compose emails, blog posts, and more.

The release notes lay out all of the new updates to the sidebar:

  • The New Discover: Edge Copilot is a powerful tool that helps users boost their productivity and efficiency. It provides intelligent suggestions and insights based on the context of the web page and the user’s goals. As the new Bing icon in the Toolbar, Edge Copilot helps users compose better emails, search the web faster, learn new skills, all done more conveniently.
  • Enhanced Sidebar Visibility: With the new Auto-Hide functionality, a user can maximize the productivity and convenience of the sidebar without sacrificing valuable screen space. The Edge Sidebar can be hidden when a user isn’t using it and it only reappears when a user needs it.
  • Evolved Sidebar Interaction: The new Hover functionality lets users open the Sidebar by hovering on the Bing icon in the Toolbar. This enhances user productivity and convenience by providing a seamless and intuitive way to access their most used tools.

The new sidebar has been available to preview users and developers for over a month now, but this is the first time Microsoft is making it available to all users. We’ll see what happens as the new AI-powered version of Bing continues to flood the zone across all of Microsoft’s products!

The release comes as Microsoft recently revealed it spent “several hundred million dollars” in order to make ChatGPT a reality and teased the next version of the supercomputer that powers it. Speaking of ChatGPT, the underlying technology’s successor, GPT-4, is expected to be revealed as soon as this week.

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