The digital voice assistant that Microsoft unleashed with Windows Phone 8.1 earlier this month is fast becoming a stepping stone for other Redmond products and services.
Bing, obviously, powers Cortana, in helping the voice assistant provide users with helpful recommendations, suggestions and other online information. But now Microsoft has used some of the ideas behind Cortana to make improvements to the search engine itself.
Essentially, Bing now displays personalized information to users — news, flight, stocks, etc.
All you have to do is sign into your Microsoft Account and launch Bing, and then you will be asked to set up your interests. These will then be used by the search service to offer personalization by keeping an eye on what you might want to see.
Microsoft detailed these changes, saying:
“The best part? As long as you’re signed in, Bing will remember your interests and notify you, as appropriate, across a range of Bing-powered Microsoft services, such as Cortana and the Bing Sports app, for example.”
This is a comprehensive feature, and one might imagine was in development for a while. Perfect time for it to go live, what with Windows Phone 8.1 almost out of the door.
The only caveat is that this new feature is only available the United States for the time being. And that too on few accounts, not everybody. So if you log in and don’t see it right away, give it a little time. Microsoft promises to improve it and launch in other markets soon.