Microsoft announced an overhauled Bing Bar browser add-in on Thursday.
The software giant has engineered the new Bing Bar from the “ground up” to integrate Facebook, alerts, Mail and the Bing Rewards program. “We took a back to basics approach for this release, guided by one key principle: make the stuff you do every day online easier,” says Bing’s Joshua Schnoll. “We took a look at what makes our customers happy, how people use our products, and where they spend time online.” The result is an overhauled Bing Bar for Internet Explorer that provides more simple ways to access things like Bing Search, Facebook, email, maps, games and more.
The search entry box is now centred and features deep links for search content. Microsoft has consolidated things like search history, suggestions and deep links straight into the search box and marked by colors.
Microsoft’s relationship with Facebook extends even further now thanks to the new Bing Bar. The tool now allows users to access their latest Facebook activity without visiting Facebook. Users can access the news feed, photos, friend requests, messages and notifications.
Microsoft has revamped its Bing Bar to include web mail and Facebook alerts to name but a few. The alerts allow users to get a quick view of their new emails or Facebook messages straight from the bar. The alerts appear below the Bing Bar and fade away after a few seconds. There’s also alerts for Weather and Bing’s rewards program.
Microsoft supports Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail with its new Bing Bar. The bar now allows users to check all their different accounts from one central location.
The new Bing Bar is available for download immediately for Internet Explorer 7 or above on XP, Vista and Windows 7. Download it at Microsoft’s download site.