So what is Bing Desktop? - gHacks Tech News

So what is Bing Desktop?

Bing Desktop is a free program by Microsoft that aims to bring the company's search engine to the Windows desktop. The review could stop right here as that's all there is to know about the program, but I'd like to dive a bit deeper into it nevertheless.

When you install Bing Desktop, a 2 Megabyte download by the way, you will receive a configuration screen after installation where you may accidentally or willingly change a couple of system settings. All options are enabled by default and will have the following effect when not unchecked:

  • Make Bing's wallpaper of the day the desktop background of the system
  • Make Internet Explorer the default system browser
  • Make MSN the homepage
  • Make Bing the default search provider

The program will automatically display those options in the local language, even if you select the English version download.

bing desktop

Bing Desktop launches on the system as a small toolbar that you can move around. It features a search the web form which you can use to search the Internet using Microsoft's Bing search engine. Once you start typing you will notice that the program displays suggestions to you automatically that you can make use of to quickly select one of the suggestions with the mouse or keyboard.

bing desktop search

Here you can also disable the search history or clear it instead if you do not want it turned off completely.

The icon next to search opens a desktop wallpaper menu where you can select one of the latest Bing wallpapers as the desktop background. This can actually be quite useful, even though you could as well visit the Bing website manually to download and set the wallpaper of the day posted on the site manually on your system.

bing wallpapers

The icon next to that displays top and popular news. This is again localized more or less even if you have selected to download the English version of Bing Desktop. You can switch between top and popular news, and individual articles using the two icons at the bottom of the news screen. Only one teaser is displayed at a time, a click takes you to the online magazine the news was posted on.

bing desktop news

The last icon displays a settings menu. Here you can change the  the default search engine that the software uses which not only affects searches but also news and other contents displayed in the program. The US version of the news application for instance displays trending images and top videos on top of top news and popular now.

Here you can also change the Bing Desktop theme from black to blue, green or purple, find out about and disable the shortcut Windows-y that minimizes or maximizes the interface and puts the focus on its search form, and to disable the auto start of the program with the Windows operating system.

Bing Desktop is available for all Microsoft operating systems from Windows XP to the very latest versions. It may be useful to you if you use Bing as your main search engine and do not have the browser open all the time. The application is very responsive and should not slow you down or your system when it is running.





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    Comments

    1. Shea Bunge said on December 18, 2012 at 11:07 am
      Reply

      Bing Desktop seems like a piece of hell to me. :-)

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 18, 2012 at 11:09 am
        Reply

        It is not really that bad, but nothing that I’d personally use as I have my browser up whenever I’m on the PC.

        1. Shea Bunge said on December 18, 2012 at 11:31 am
          Reply

          I mean that I hate Internet Explorer, never use Bing, and dislike a window floating around on my desktop. If I want to search the web, I would just launch Chrome and type straight into the omnibar. I usually have Chrome open, anyway.

        2. Martin Brinkmann said on December 18, 2012 at 11:32 am
          Reply

          I have Firefox open all the time. It can be useful for users who do not, and there are probably quite a few of them.

      2. creamshaw said on December 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm
        Reply

        You seem like a pleasant fellow.

      3. watcher801 said on October 13, 2013 at 10:39 am
        Reply

        just another way of ‘ someone-who shall remain nameless….’ to snoop on your system,

      4. Anonymous said on February 25, 2017 at 1:58 pm
        Reply

        The Worst desktop app is Google Desktop.

    2. Nebulus said on December 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm
      Reply

      I really don’t see the usefulness of this application… It offers almost nothing that there isn’t there already.

    3. YB said on December 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm
      Reply

      f**king Google fanboys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

      1. Mikey J said on October 8, 2013 at 1:12 am
        Reply

        Its hard not to like the greatest browser on the planet

    4. Seabat said on December 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm
      Reply

      I stopped reading when the word “toolbar” appeared.

    5. Morely Dotes said on December 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm
      Reply

      Bing is not even a solution in search of a problem; it’s a problem in search of a gullible idiot. Bing is the Apple Maps of the search world, with extra advertising.

      1. creamshaw said on December 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm
        Reply

        Wow! The vitriol is palpable.

    6. pkghosh said on December 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm
      Reply

      Why have they named it “BING”?

      So that when anyone downloads and installs it, the kind and good ole folks at Microsoft can yell “BINGO”!!!!!!!

    7. ox said on December 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm
      Reply

      Bing is still useless in that there is *still* no ‘Filter by Time’ option on anything other than News.

      Multitudes of users have made repeated requests for 3+ years for this. (Check the M$ Forums). Microsoft ignores it.

      For anything other than a perfunctory search, Bing is still not ready for prime time, and it would appear that MS prefers it that way. Some have concluded it’s for ad revenue. Could be. But whatever the reason, until this critical feature is enabled for all searches, Bing cannot only be considered a serious option for searches.

      PS- and knock off the sophomoric Bing Rewards points bs. You want to be taken seriously? Act accordingly.

    8. ox said on December 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm
      Reply

      Doh!

      Strike ‘only’ between cannot and be on paragraph 3, sentence 4.

      (I knew I should’ve worn my readers when I went to proof read that post. LOL)

    9. Mick said on January 9, 2013 at 6:07 pm
      Reply

      Sheeple will download this redundant program just because Microsoft told them to.

    10. Dennis said on July 14, 2015 at 3:17 pm
      Reply

      I started my pc, and a bing searchbar installed itself on my desktop.
      I do not want this. I do use bing as my search engine, but through my browsers.

      HOW DO I GET RID OF THIS.
      if there is no uninstall, I will end up deleting anything to do with bing.

    11. Kendall said on September 19, 2016 at 2:13 pm
      Reply

      Eeeeeverybody’s just sittin’ at their machines, bitchin’ ‘n’ moanin’, but, we hapless users don’t hear ANYbody providing sound, workable soLUtions. How about somebody, …ANYbody (in the “dark web”?) who knows how to permanently and irrevocably block Bing and other useless websites of its ilk? -Of course, the BEST SOLUTION, is to stay exactly where you are, right now. And no, I don’t work for D.D.G., but, I love it, just the same. Whenever I come here, from Y., or G., or wherever, I just breathe a sigh of relief.

    12. Avijit Raj said on February 25, 2017 at 2:47 pm
      Reply

      I think Opera Web Browser is best for my Windows 10 PC, all of you must use it once.
      Here is the Download link to Install Opera on your system.
      For Windows PC – net.geo.opera.com/opera/stable/windows
      For Mac PC – net.geo.opera.com/opera/stable/mac
      For Linux PC – download3.operacdn.com/pub/opera/desktop/43.0.2442.991/linux/opera-stable_43.0.2442.991_i386.deb

      In my openion Google Desktop is the worst application to surf Internet.

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