Microsoft highlights official software download site on Bing now

Melanie Gross
Aug 8, 2014

When you search for a software download on most search engines the official site of the program may be listed as the first result there. Sometimes, that is not the case and this happens often for lesser known applications.

Instead, you may see download portals listed there with the developer site nowhere in sight. That's a problem, not only because many download sites have started to use download wrappers to earn money at the expense of their visitors, but also because malicious sites may exploit this to distribute malware.

While that is happening in the organic results, that is the part that is not advertisement-based, it is even a bigger problem if search engines displays ads on the page, often at the top of the results, that exploit this as well.

Experienced users may not have problems identifying legitimate sites from illegitimate or questionable ones, but people who are not well versed when it comes to the Internet may fall pray to these practices over and over again.

bing search download
New Bing Software page

Microsoft attempts to change that by improving software search result pages on Bing. While that leaves still something to desire, it improves the the user experience significantly.

When you search for a program now, you may get a sidebar entry that provides you with information about it. Among the information, most taken from download portals such as Cnet or Softonic, is a link to the official website of the software.

You may find additional information here but since they are curated by software portals, I would not trust them necessarily to be accurate.

The important bit is that Bing highlights the official link that users can follow to visit the site and download the program.

That does not mean that there is no risk involved in this regard, considering that official sites may very well offer adware installers as well, but it means that one step of the process is more secure than before.

Not there yet

While the highlighting of the official website of a software project is a step in the right direction, it is still flawed in several regards.

If you search for lesser known programs, URL Snooper from Donation Coder for instance, you won't find a link to the site in the sidebar. Instead, you only find a link to CNET.

In addition, the CNET link is placed before the official link in the organic results.

There is something else that Microsoft could add. If you search for a software developer, say Donation Coder or Nirsoft, sidebar entries are not displayed at all.

I'd expect that Bing would list the official site here as well and not only in the organic results. While the company does display entries for some, those with Wikipedia entries it seems, it should consider adding information about others as well.


With that said, it is clear that displaying the official download website is beneficial to the user and something that Google and other search engines do not offer at this point in time.

One could say that covering the major programs is enough to protect most users searching for software downloads. While there may be some truth to that, it is the lesser known programs that are often harder to find.

Still, it is a great feature that most Bing users will surely appreciate.

Microsoft highlights official software download site on Bing now
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Microsoft highlights official software download site on Bing now
Bing search highlights the official download site of many software programs now so that users can visit it directly from there.

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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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