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Microsoft, Bing Chat changes name and becomes Copilot

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Microsoft, Bing Chat changes name and becomes Copilot

The old Bing is the new Copilot: the name and logo change, the graphics are a little simpler (and reminiscent of ChatGPT), but otherwise the Microsoft search engine available from December 1st does the same things that he did before. On the other hand, the real change came in February with the introduction of Bing Chat, the GPT-based conversational interface.

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Bing Chat allows you to ask complex questions, summarize entire pages, compare products, create content and much more; uses generative AI to understand the context, question and user intent and provide an appropriate response. Bing Chat is available in several ways: through the bing.com/chat website, through the Copilot app in Windows 11, or through your web browser with Edge and Bing. In the latter case, it is activated when you click on the Copilot button at the top right of the Edge toolbar: a side window thus allows you to access the chat without having to change tab or website.

Artificial intelligence according to Microsoft: a co-pilot and many plugins by Bruno Ruffilli 23 May 2023

History

Before Bing, Microsoft had already launched several search services, but was unable to establish itself. The first attempt dates back to 1998, with the launch of MSN Search, based on the Inktomi search engine. In 2004, Microsoft decided to create its own search engine, called Windows Live Search, which replaced MSN Search in 2006. In 2007 it was renamed Live Search, and then in 2008 it became Microsoft Live Search.

But a radical change was needed, both in name and technology: in 2009, the company officially announced the launch of Bing, an innovative search engine, capable of offering not only simple results, but also additional information, such as images, videos , maps, news, shopping and more. Bing also aimed to provide direct answers to user questions, thanks to the use of artificial intelligence and natural language. Another strong point was the integration with other Microsoft services, such as Hotmail, Messenger, Xbox, Office and Windows.

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In 2010, Microsoft and Yahoo signed a strategic agreement in which Bing would provide search technology for Yahoo’s sites in exchange for a portion of advertising revenue.

Today Bing is the second most used search engine in the world, but in the last 8 years its market share has never exceeded 3.5%, while Google has never dropped below 91%. Not even the introduction of Bing Chat served to increase its popularity, and so the rebranding operation appears in line with Microsoft’s new ambitions, determined to play a new role in the great revolution of generative artificial intelligence.

Just one name

The rebranding of Bing to Copilot was announced in late November during the Ignite 2023 conference and is intended to set aside the Bing brand to more clearly indicate the generative AI-powered service. Because there is also a Copilot in Windows, and a special version for company accounts, which however must be installed and managed by IT staff because they must be able to access company data. Microsoft also announced support for GPTs which will allow you to create custom versions of Copilot. Additionally, Copilot will be available for free with Microsoft 365 E3, E5, A3, A5, Business Standard, and Business Premium licenses, at no additional cost.

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