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

The case for a marketing content hub

Transform your digital marketing to deliver customer expectations

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

IT faces new security challenges in the wake of COVID-19

Beat the crisis by learning how to secure your network

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/business-strategy/31780/the-it-pro-panel
Business strategy

The IT Pro Panel

25 May 2020
Visit/machine-learning/31708/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-ai
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

21 Apr 2020
Visit/technology/30736/what-is-ethical-ai
Technology

What is ethical AI?

8 Apr 2020
Visit/careers/28212/a-guide-to-cyber-security-certification-and-training
Careers & training

A guide to cyber security certification and training

13 Jan 2020

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/355781/microsoft-confirms-further-issues-with-troublesome
Microsoft Windows

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update is causing yet more issues

26 May 2020
Visit/mobile/5g/355712/nokia-5g-speed-record
5G

Nokia breaks 5G record with speeds nearing 5Gbps

20 May 2020
Visit/infrastructure/network-internet/355792/intel-releases-wi-fi-and-bluetooth-driver-updates-for
Network & Internet

Intel releases Wi-Fi and Bluetooth driver updates for Windows 10

26 May 2020