Bing rolls out five apps for Office 365 and Office 2013

Looking to combine desktop productivity with search, Microsoft adds new apps to its Office suite.

An example of the Bing Image Search for Office app. Bing

Microsoft launched five new free Bing apps for Office 365 and Office 2013 today. These apps are geared toward integrating work templates with search functions. The apps include Bing Finance for Excel, Bing Maps for Excel, Bing Image Search for Word, Bing News Search for Word, and Bing Dictionary for Excel and Word.

The software giant released its 2013 version of Office and its subscription-centric version of Office -- Office 365 Home Premium -- just this week. The latter of these two products is downloadable and can be locally installed on versions of Office 2013. Users are charged annual or monthly fees for the subscription service.

The new Bing apps for Office are meant to work similarly to Bing apps that are used on Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox. "Our goal is to make Bing available in convenient and intuitive ways that take advantage of knowledge Bing has assembled for search," Bing wrote in a blog post.

Here are Bing's descriptions of the five new apps:

  • Bing Maps for Office helps people plot location data on a Bing Map. It a data visualization tool for Excel that lets you use location names and map controls so you can zoom in and out of the map using touch or your mouse. You can adjust the map view to road or bird's-eye. Imagine overlaying census data on a state map.
  • Bing Finance (Beta) for Office helps you take control of your finances by letting you build a finance portfolio table in Excel. You can input stock symbols and customize the fields you'd like to display by selecting from a wide range of data columns, including current price and news.
  • Bing News Search for Office lets you search for news and related videos from within a Word document. Bing search results can be inserted into the document by clicking on the insert plus icon. You can also add frequent searches to your favorites list.
  • Bing Dictionary (English) for Office continuously discovers and distills high-quality language knowledge so you have the latest definitions and spellings available. Aren't sure of how to spell something? Simply enter words as they sound and Bing can suggest letters, words, or phrases, optionally specified by part-of-speech.
  • Bing Image Search for Office allows you to search for images on the Web from within your Word document. You can search for images by selecting text in the document or typing in the search box. Results are displayed in a grid and when you click on a result, a larger preview is displayed at the bottom with additional details and options. Any result can be inserted into the document at the location of your cursor by clicking on the insert plus icon.
 

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