Microsoft is adding a number of new travel-related features to its Bing search engine to help you save time and money when booking your next trip.
Planning a trip can be an exhausting process as you often have to visit one site to get inspiration, another to book flights and yet another to check out travel maps. For this reason, Microsoft has created a one-stop travel shop in Bing that provides aggregated information about destinations, itineraries, flights, hotels and more all in a visually rich format.
The software giant’s Travel Guide serves as a jumping-off point for all of your trip-planning needs. You can see suggested itineraries under the “What to see & do” section or click on “Book flights” or “Book hotels” to get a full-page booking experience.
As Microsoft has partnered with top travel industry players to help you find competitive rates, you can be sure you’re getting the best prices. Also, if you’re pressed for time, Bing now offers bundled hotel and flight packages to make booking a breeze.
Travel Guide home page
If you just want to plan a future trip without a specific destination in mind, Bing’s Travel Guide home page is a great starting point to find further inspiration. The page rotates through top destinations worldwide and if one catches your eye, you can click on “Explore more” to visit the detailed page for that place.
Those seeking stunning landscapes can click on “Experience in 360” to check out immersive views of potential destinations while those more interested in a destination’s local cuisine can explore Bing’s “Eat & Drink” carousel to see all of the dishes and beverages they can taste there. Meanwhile, travelers on a budget can scroll down to the “Coupons & Deals” section to browse cost-conscious options for flights, trip packages and more.
Although you may not be traveling anywhere anytime soon, at least you’ll be properly prepared for your next trip.
Bing’s new travel experience is currently only available in the US though Microsoft plans to make it available in more markets in the near future according to a new blog post.
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal and TechRadar. He has been a tech enthusiast for as long as he can remember and has spent countless hours researching and tinkering with PCs, mobile phones and game consoles.
The ChatGPT takeover of the internet may finally be hitting some roadblocks. While cursory interactions with the chatbot or its Bing search engine sibling (cousin?) produce benign and promising results, deeper interactions have sometimes been alarming.
This isn’t just in reference to the information that the new Bing powered by GPT gets wrong — though we’ve seen it get things wrong firsthand. Rather, there have been some instances where the AI-powered chatbot has completely broken down. Recently, a New York Times columnist had a conversation with Bing (opens in new tab) that left them deeply unsettled and told a Digital Trends writer “I want to be human (opens in new tab)” during their hands-on with the AI search bot.
Microsoft Bing announced new travel search features including suggested itineraries and inspiration, 360 immersive views, drink and dining information and coupons and deals. This currently is live in the United States.
Here is what is new with these new travel search features in Bing.
Suggested itineraries & inspiration
You should see a section named “What to see & do” for the trip duration to get an idea of what your trip might look like, Microsoft said. You can also click on “Book flights” or “Book hotels” to get a full-page booking experience.
Here is a screenshot:
Coupons & deals
Microsoft partnered with various sites to show competitive rates for your travel. They also offer packages of bundled hotel and flight experiences. You can also scroll down to the “Coupons & Deals” section to browse cost-conscious options for flights, trip packages, and more.
360 immersive views
Bing also shows “stunning landscapes” it says when you click “Experience in 360” to check out immersive views. Here is a screenshot:
Drink & dining information
There is also the “Eat & Drink” search carousel to start getting excited about the dishes and beverages you can expect to taste, Microsoft said. Here is what this looks like:
Microsoft Edge can send, by default, to Microsoft the results of any search you do in the browser. The feature is not limited to Bing Search, but informs Microsoft about searches across all search engines, including Google, DuckDuckGo, or StartPage, performed by Edge users, if the setting is enabled.
A gHack reporter opened Microsoft Edge today and saw that Microsoft Edge Support showed him a pop-up window shortly after launch. I was telling him that he could help Microsoft improve search and that Microsoft “will collect the results of the searches you do in the browser to improve Microsoft products and services. ”
This announcement also clarified that the data collected by Microsoft are “never associated” with the user or the device.
Indeed, the journalist accessed the settings and there he verified that Microsoft Edge had activated this possibility, which was previously deactivated. Personally, I have checked it in my browser and the feature remains disabled, so It is recommended that each Edge user take a look at their configuration.
Where to turn this tracking feature on and off
The setting in question It’s called “Helping Improve Microsoft Products by Submitting Search Results to the Web”, and is in the privacy section. Access your Edge browser and click on the three horizontal points in the upper right corner. Access the settings. Once inside the configuration, look in the right column for the option “Privacy, search and services”.
Several options appear where you can go controlling your privacy in various areas of browser use (For example, I found out now that I had activated the option to allow sites to check if they have saved payment methods “something that I am not interested in having activated). And right there you can see if the function is activated that says like this:”help improve Microsoft products by submitting web search results“. If the tab is blank and to the left, it is deactivated. If it is blue and to the right it is activated. There you can decide what to do.
With it enabled, Microsoft can collect Microsoft can collect the term you are looking for, search results shown to you, your interaction with search results, including links clicked, and demographics, based on information specific to Microsoft.