Bing Desktop, an application that sits on your desktop and provides instant access to a search bar, news and weather, and even access to Facebook, was first released in beta form a year ago in April. Since then, over 10 million people have downloaded the app, and today, according to a post on the Bing Search blog, it’s been updated again. To try it out, or update to the latest version, you can download it here. Bing Desktop works with Windows XP and higher.
The new version, now up to 188.8.131.52, in addition to allowing you to use the daily Bing home page image as your Windows background, now includes Inline Search, which allows you to highlight text, click on the search button that appears, and instantly search from the following applications:
- Microsoft Word 2007 or later
- Microsoft Outlook 2013
- Windows Internet Explorer 6 or later
- Firefox (latest version)
- Chrome (latest version)
- 360 Secure Browser (latest version)
- Adobe Reader XI
(note that Inline Search works in IE 10 for Desktop, but not the “Metro” version of IE 10)
The rest of Bing Desktop has been updated, too, and now includes real-time weather (in case you can’t look out the window, apparently ;) ), and rebuilt from the ground up News and Facebook apps:
News at a Glance and Trending Topics: Interested in world news and not crazy about entertainment stories? Or vice versa? With the updates to the news app, you can stay up to date on news across categories with a glance. We’ve added a new cascading layout that lets you see images and text summaries so you can keep up on the news you’re interested in. We’ve also added a visual collection of the top trending items on the Web so you can keep your finger on what’s happening in a gorgeous waterfall layout.
Facebook Notifications: To help you keep tabs on what’s happening with your Facebook friends, you will now see a notification appear whenever there is an update for you to check out.
With the first preview of Windows 8.1 due in a few weeks, which includes built in Bing Search, and downloads like the Bing Desktop, the Bing Bar, and apps for iPhone and iPad, along with Windows Phone, Android, and Blackberry, Bing continures to try to blur the lines between “web search” and just “search”. We’re giving Bing Desktop another try (for those times we try, but just can’t seem to stay out of the Windows 8 desktop), are you using Bing Desktop?