Bing Desktop

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Description

Microsoft has already integrated its own search engine – Bing into Windows 8 and upcoming versions as well as Windows Phone. In order to bring a coherent Bing experience to existing Windows 7, Vista and XP versions, Microsoft has released Bing Desktop to provide the complete suite of Bing applications and features from the Desktop itself, without involving any browser. While all the information from Bing can be obtained from Bing website, but it requires launching a browser and added overhead. With a toolbar on desktop, all the information from Internet can be obtained with few clicks right on desktop without opening any software and with minimal requirements. Further, it is a product from Microsoft itself without any third party attachments.

Features

Bing Desktop is a desktop toolbar, which is much like a Windows 7 gadget and features a search bar powered by Bing search engine. It is flanked below by a toolbar with icon buttons for various specific categories of searches. These categories include wallpaper, weather, trending, news, images, videos and Facebook. On clicking each category, the toolbar expands to display latest information, which on clicking redirects to the default browser set, and not necessarily IE always. The settings button is used to configure certain settings like General settings involving privacy and history as well as the behavior, language preferences and an option to send feedback to Microsoft. Weather information can be set for specific region with multiple region and units support. Facebook integration is added with which browsing the news feed is possible as well as Facebook chat. The toolbar also has a transparent toolset, which details the Bing wallpapers and other information. The software can be used to set desktop wallpaper periodically. The application can be pinned to one of the sides of screen, and will appear when the mouse pointer hovers or clicks on that region.

Comparison

The windows platform has plenty of similar software from third party vendors providing such solutions. One of them is Background Switcher, which provides similar functionality by updating wallpaper regularly, but it is limited to that. Similarly, there are weather gadgets that can display current weather but are limited in nature. There is Ask toolbar that performs searches from Ask.com and provides other utilities but is built for IE and hence will not work directly from desktop.

Conclusion

Bing Desktop is an excellent offering for Windows 7 through XP users to use Bing services, Bing search and update/refresh wallpapers daily automatically from Bing. Furthermore, users get access to news, latest contents and images as well as videos too. Being the product from Microsoft, Bing Desktop is absolutely free and does not feature any ads or adware or malware along with it. Further using IE is not mandatory. Thus, it is an excellent tool for Windows users.

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