Microsoft unveils an AI-powered search experience across Windows, Office and Bing

“Getting pages of results with hyperlinks to other information is simply not enough”

Microsoft has unveiled ambitious plans to unify its search platform between Bing and across its family of apps, dubbed "Microsoft Search."

"Getting pages of results with hyperlinks to other information is simply not enough," wrote Jeff Teper, Microsoft's corporate vice president for OneDrive, SharePoint and Office in a blog post. "Faced with ever decreasing attention spans, and an explosion of data, we recognise that the challenge is to find and deliver answers to your questions, suggest insights, and enable you to take action on your tasks.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"This makes search a powerful capability that stretches across your work to make you more productive and take advantage of the collective knowledge from your organisation."

That means a unified search experience across platforms, allowing search within Windows and its apps to quickly find relevant data, whether it's files, contacts or information.

Over the next few months, the in-app search box will appear in a unified position across Microsoft's family of apps, from Outlook to Teams. Personalised results will begin to generate as soon as you click or tap on the search field, with frequent contacts and recently worked on projects appearing first.

Not only will you be able to search for functions of the specific app (e.g: typing "acc" in Word will suggest "accept revision" or "accessibility checker") but assets related to other apps (e.g: PowerPoint presentations coming up within Word). If you're signed in, this functionality will extend to Bing, and Microsoft says you'll "get the same experience" wherever you search.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

First to get the Microsoft Search functionality are the Outlook and SharePoint mobile apps, along with Office.com and Bing.com. Business users can see all this in action right now and, in the first half of 2019, Microsoft Search will extend to Office and the Windows Search bar.

This is just the beginning for Microsoft Search, and Teper imagines the hunt for data becoming more useful as the AI gets better at semantic understanding. "A question such as Can my brother work for me at my company?' means that not only syntactic parsing of the question is necessary but semantic understanding," he writes.

Featured Resources

Key considerations for implementing secure telework at scale

Identifying the security risks and advanced requirements of a remote workforce

Download now

The State of Salesforce 2020

Your guide to getting the most from Salesforce

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world

5 steps to secure the enterprise and be fit for a flexible future

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

The IT Pro Panel
Business strategy

The IT Pro Panel

27 Jul 2020
What is a gap analysis?
Business strategy

What is a gap analysis?

15 Jul 2020
What is a DDoS attack?
Security

What is a DDoS attack?

8 Jul 2020
The benefits of hot desking
Business strategy

The benefits of hot desking

28 May 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
UN report points to a 350% rise in phishing websites at start of 2020
phishing

UN report points to a 350% rise in phishing websites at start of 2020

7 Aug 2020