A new feature has just been revealed in Microsoft Edge by Mikhail Parakhin, CEO of Advertising and Web Services at Microsoft. Users will now be able to search the internet with two search engines at the same time, switching between search engines based on their default settings.
MSPoweruser gives us a great example to explain how this works. Say Bing is your default search engine. If you click the search icon highlighted in the tweet below, you’ll also see results displayed from your alternative search engine, like Google. This also works in reverse, so you can navigate your search results simultaneously and compare the two according to what you’re looking for.
In Edge, you can search in two engines simultaneously: if Bing is your default and you click on the Search icon, you'll see, say, Google results (and vice versa). It will stay in sync and refresh with the new query. Have you ever tried it? Is this useful? Asking for a friend :-) pic.twitter.com/p016dF8Wc1January 13, 2024
Users expressed concern in the comments under the tweet surrounding the potential for a lot of visual clutter when combining two engines' search results, possibly creating quite an overwhelming layout. Parakhin did respond and hinted towards the potential of introducing an option to choose the default ‘backup’ search engine so users can better grasp what is being displayed.
Could I become... an Edge user?
The lack of options does leave a lot to be desired in terms of customization. Parakhin did again clarify that the sidebars width is determined by app and mobile display standards, so resizing might be unlikely, but he did make sure to note an openness to exploring more in-depth customization options in the near future.
As an exclusively Chrome-using internet explorer (pun intended), this is probably one of the few Microsoft Edge features that would actually draw me to Microsoft’s browser, so I can only imagine how exciting this must be for regular Edge users. This feature has the potential to make research so much easier now that you can search for one thing across two different search engines and compare your results - hopefully eliminating dud results in the process, since even Google search isn’t perfect.
The simplicity of it means you won’t have to have two different windows open just to do the task of searching, and as it continues to improve I can imagine it’ll only become better. Personally, I’m now hoping Google will catch up and implement something similar in Chrome!
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Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.
Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.
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