Microsoft is bringing AI-generated buying guides to Bing, the company announced Thursday. Now, if you search for things like “school supplies,” Bing will pull up AI-created guides that offer comparisons between products in the same categories, such as headphones or laptops.
The link to Bing’s buying guide appears at the very top of the search engine results. Clicking on the guide displays an AI-generated summary of everything you’re looking for, along with a list of products relevant to your search. Hit the Compare button and you’ll see a chart that pulls specs from the product manufacturers’ websites and compares them side by side. Microsoft notes that you can access buying guides both through Bing chat and in the Edge sidebar.
To be honest, I don’t think I trust an AI completely enough to find and surface the absolute best products on the web, especially when there are human reviewers (like some of us at The edge, wink) to do the leg work for me. Still, the product comparison chart seems like a useful way to see how different items stack up, assuming it pulls in the right data. This feature is now available in B in the US and Edge is rolling out globally.
Microsoft is also rolling out review summaries in its Bing chatbot. If you ask Bing what people are saying about a product, the tool summarizes the reviews it collects from retailers like Amazon and Walmart. I’m curious to try this feature out for myself and maybe even compare it to a product’s actual reviews, just to see what details it pulls out.
In Microsoft’s example, Bing says the “Surface Headphones 2 are a great choice for travelers, students, and anyone who wants the best ANC headphones. They have a sleek design, excellent sound quality and a long battery life. They also support hands-free Alexa and Google Assistant and have a clear microphone system for calls.”
However, the mention of “long battery life” doesn’t seem to tally with many of the customer reviews on Amazon. One of the top reviews (and several others) doesn’t quote the full 20 hours of battery life it advertises, so you might want to do some of your own research if you decide to use this tool. Review summaries are rolling out globally.
Aside from that, Microsoft is adding a price comparison feature to Edge that monitors the price of an item after you buy it. If that item drops in price, Edge asks you to contact the seller you bought it from to request a refund. But you don’t have to write anything yourself; Bing composes a message that you can send to the retailer.
As Microsoft pushes more and more AI tools and shopping features into Edge, the browser… a little bloated. What was once advertised as a useful alternative to Chrome is quickly filling up with tools that not all users want or need. While generative AI is an exciting advancement, it may be more useful to consolidate these tools into an extension rather than force them into everyone’s browsing experience.