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Bing Adds Conversational Search for Follow-Up Questions

by Jacob Kleinman | August 13, 2014August 13, 2014 8:00 pm PST

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Microsoft’s attempt to take on Google with Bing hasn’t exactly been a success. The search engine boasts just 18.7 percent of the market compared to Google’s 68 percent market share. Now, Microsoft is adding another feature in an effort to keep up with Google.

Starting today, you can type a question into Bing like “who is the president of the United States” and you’ll see a small info card with the answer. That’s nothing new of course, and Google does the same thing. But now you can ask a follow up question on Bing like “how old is he?” and the search engine knows what you mean and serves up another info card with the answer.

Google introduced a similar feature over a year ago but it still doesn’t work as well as it could. Meanwhile, Bing seems to work pretty well, though you have to keep things simple and straightforward; if there’s any confusion you’ll quickly end up with unrelated search results.

Bing may still trail far behind Google when it comes to total Internet searches, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft’s search engine from getting a whole lot smarter. That might not be enough to convince most people to switch from Google to Bing, but for those who already use the service it’s definitely good news.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...