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Hotmail gets more Bing with new quick add menu

Hotmail's quick add option gets some Bing'ification. Users of the popular Web mail service can now do Bing searches that can be stuck inside of outgoing messages and replies.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

Microsoft has updated its Hotmail Web e-mail service with more Bing search integration. Hotmail's quick add menu, which was introduced to a limited number of users earlier this year, lets users do a quick Web searches for things like maps, movie times, restaurants, images, and videos. Previously this used Windows Live search, but starting today it's grabbing results from Bing.

Just as it worked before, search results stream in on the right inside of the window, and can be inserted inside of outgoing messages or replies. Maps and videos can be quickly resized, and in the case of videos--previewed before being inserted.

The one limiting factor that remains with the transition is that if you want more than the few results that show up in the quick add menu, you have to retrieve them outside of Hotmail and on Bing.com. And once you're on there, the buttons to simply add the content to an outgoing message do not come along for the ride.

You also are still unable to minimize the quick add menu when it's not in use. Many users have created special browser extensions and CSS hacks to get rid of it, since despite its utility, it still takes up 200 or so pixels on the right of the screen that you cannot get back.

Quick add is not available in all localizations. Microsoft says only users in Australia, Canada, China, India, the U.S., and the U.K. will see the updated tool in their in-boxes.