Note that it appears the rollout is only happening for those using the Canary version of Microsoft’s Edge browser (and Windows Latest only got the feature in that preview release, not in the finished version of Edge).
We’re told that the AI currently offers five plug-ins to testers and you can pick any three of those to use in a session. If you want to change plug-ins, you’ll need to start a new Bing Chat session.
Windows Latest carried out some testing with a couple of those plug-ins, and the results seemed useful, with the OpenTable add-on providing some restaurant recommendations in a query.
Other plug-ins available in testing include Kayak, Klarna, and a shopping add-on for buying suggestions – we’ve already got you covered there, of course, especially for the imminent Black Friday sale – but it may be the case that different plug-ins appear for different users.
Analysis: Faster and better
Eventually, of course, there will be a whole load of plug-ins for the Bing AI, or that’s certainly Microsoft’s plan, although they’ll doubtless be rolled out in stages over time. One of those will be the much-awaited ‘no search’ function that was switched to be implemented via a plug-in not so long ago. (This allows the user to specify that the AI can’t use search content scraped from the web in its responses).
We’ve seen plug-ins in a limited test rollout before (in August), but they were pulled, so this is effectively a return of the feature – hinting it might arrive sooner rather than later.
Fingers crossed, and the good news is that Windows Latest observes that these new plug-ins seem to be more responsive and work better than the old efforts (performance-related concerns are likely one of the reasons that the test plug-ins got pulled earlier this year).
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).