Microsoft to add Bing ads to Windows 8.1 search results

Thumbnails displaying the Web pages of Bing advertisers will pop up among the Smart Search results in Windows 8.1.

Ads are destined to start showing up among your Windows 8.1 search results.
Ads are destined to start showing up among your Windows 8.1 search results. Microsoft

Windows 8.1 users will eventually start seeing ads along with their usual search results.

Microsoft will begin to incorporate thumbnail images of the Web pages of Bing advertisers as part of the Windows 8.1 Smart Search, David Pann, general manager of Microsoft's Advertising Search Group, revealed in a blog post Tuesday.

The Windows 8.1 Smart Search improves on the search feature found in Windows 8. Smart Search can dig up results across a variety of sources, including your PC or tablet, your apps, your SkyDrive cloud storage, and the Web. Your results are also grouped together, making them more easily accessible than they are in Windows 8.

"Now, with a single campaign setup, advertisers can connect with consumers across Bing, Yahoo, and the new Windows Search with highly relevant ads for their search queries," Pann said. "In addition, Bing Ads will include Web previews of Web sites and the latest features like site links, location, and call extensions, making it easier for consumers to complete tasks and for advertisers to drive qualified leads."

Since Smart Search taps into so many different sources, it's only natural that Microsoft sees it as a ripe spot for advertisements. The search results from the Web are already "powered by Bing." So, for better or worse, ads are a logical next step for Microsoft and its advertisers.

Microsoft paints it all as a plus for Windows users.

"As we've said before, our goal is to make search advertising easier for our customers, while providing the best consumer experience with the most relevant results for the tasks they are looking to accomplish," Pann added.

Read the full CNET Review

Microsoft Windows 8.1

The Bottom Line: If you're a dedicated Windows 8 hater, the update to Windows 8.1 isn't going to change your mind. For everyone else, this collection of tweaks, fixes, and new features is useful, but everything here should have shipped in the original version last year. / Read full review

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.



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