An example of the Smart Search results page with integrated Bing ads.

Microsoft says it will extend its Bing advertising platform to the new search experience in Windows 8.1, serving up ads as part of the “Smart Search” results displayed to users inside the PC and tablet operating system.

The move underscores the ongoing blurring of the lines between the traditional desktop computer experience and online services. The Smart Search feature in Windows 8.1 lets users search universally across their device, the web, apps and cloud storage. Keyword searches bring up an extended search results page that Microsoft describes as a custom app, created on the fly based on the user’s query.

For example, at the Build conference in San Francisco last week, Microsoft showed search results for San Francisco that included a postcard picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, followed by the current temperature, key facts, a list of attractions, a preview of web results and related apps from the Windows Store, laid out in a polished design.

Bing will also be presenting ads in those results, including thumbnail images of the advertisers’ landing pages.

“We’re hoping this exposes Bing and Bing ads to a new class of consumers who are using the Smart Search experience,” said David Pann, general manager of the Microsoft Advertising Search Group. He said the feature gives advertisers “a new kind of footprint to work with us” and improve the ad format over time.

It’s one example of how Microsoft is using Windows to give Bing more of a fighting chance against Google, the dominant player in search advertising. The company is also giving developers of Windows 8.1 apps access to APIs to integrate data from Bing into their own services.

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  • Guest

    What number effort to try and make Bing a success are we on now? I’ve lost track. Is it the 10th, 11th, other?

  • Michael Hazell

    I don’t like this. You paid for an operating system, so why should you have ads shoved into it’s own search feature?

    • Guest

      Unlike who, Android? iOS? Wake up.

      • Michael Hazell

        I use Android but I use Dolphin browser to search using Bing. On top of that, I block ads so I always get a uncluttered search experience.

        As far as an OS goes, I use Ubuntu as my operating system, and it doesn’t have any ads integrated into its search feature (well Amazon could be considered ads but 12.04 doesn’t have that).

        • Guest

          If you use Ubuntu as your OS, why are you trolling the MS section of this site, commenting about how you don’t like a change in Windows and shilling for Ubuntu via the unnecessary inclusion of hyperlinks to their website?

          • Michael Hazell

            Some folks in my family use Windows 8, so I have to help them occasionally with it. I didn’t mean to put the link in the comment as a way to drive traffic or “troll”, but provide more information. Surprisingly, not many people know about Ubuntu, or Linux in general.

            At least I am giving explanation for what I’m saying trolls just drop comments and that’s it.

        • Guest
          • Michael Hazell

            The Amazon search feature can be considered advertising, but there is a very easy way to disable this and remove it if you desire. It’s not like Microsoft where ads are being forced onto you and there’s nothing you can do about it.

          • Guest

            You mean after a user uproar there’s now an easy way to disable it. And maybe there will be for MS’s too.

          • Michael Hazell

            Actually, there always was an option to remove the package behind the Amazon search feature. Canonical eventually added a setting after negative feedback.

          • Guest

            I didn’t say there wasn’t. 8.1 has some easy disable options too:

          • Michael Hazell

            Yeah, but you have to disable Bing in your search results entirely to probably get rid of the ads. In Ubuntu, a few simple clicks of the mouse or a one line terminal command could get rid of the Amazon feature.

      • dario

        well android doesn’t shove Google+ into your throat and blocks any attemt to use facebook, but microsoft won’t let you use other cloud service than skydrive for desktop integration, or other search provider than bing for their “smart search”.

        it was allways the way microsoft played.

      • micro

        What a douchebag comment. Everyone else is doing scummy stuff so Microsoft should too.

  • panacheart

    The problem is that the press release spells out the benefits for Bing and MS, but it’s not really clear if consumers want this. Is the value proposition for Windows users, or for Microsoft and Bing?

    • guest

      What press release are you referring to? The only link in the article is to a developer’s message.

    • Ken

      Comical that you’re making this criticism on site littered with ads.

  • Mark

    Why can’t MS ever learn? Just ask Ubuntu how well including ads in OS search results was received by users.

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