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Microsoft Bing Desktop Beta – First Look

Microsoft released the Bing Desktop Beta earlier this week. After you install it, you’re given the Bing Image of the Day as your desktop Wallpaper and it provides search features too. Here’s a look at what you can expect on a Windows 7 system.

First download and install the Bing Desktop Beta from the Microsoft Download Center. It’s currently only available in the US and you’ll need Windows 7. It doesn’t work on Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

It installs in seconds. Before using it, you’ll have the option to set Bing as the default search engine in Internet Explorer and set your wallpaper to the Bing Image of the Day. Uncheck the options if you don’t want them. Click Finish.


Your system wallpaper is changed and the Bing search bar will reside on the middle of your desktop. This immediately annoyed me. If you have a busy desktop, having it in the middle is a nuisance. 

You can’t move it anywhere on your screen either. Although, It does fade away after a period of inactivity, or you can close it with the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + H.

Bing Desktop

Also, if you go into Options, you can pin it to the top of your screen, which is more preferable.


Here’s a look at it pinned to the top of my screen. Another advantage of having it at the top is it disappears right away when you’re not using it. You just need to hover your mouse at the top to pull it down.


Searching works like you’d expect with auto complete enabled. Hit enter or click the Search button and your query opens in your default browser. It doesn’t automatically open Internet Explorer which is a plus.

Related Article:  Three Google Search Alternatives that Don’t Invade Your Privacy


While I am not a fan of extra toolbars anywhere on my system, the Bing Desktop bar is miles above their previous Desktop Search app. Pinning it to the top makes it a lot less intrusive. Having a new desktop wallpaper each day will be a welcome feature for some users to. They are quality pictures of the day with nice resolution on any screen size. But if you like to keep things familiar, turn the Desktop of the Day feature off in Preferences.


I would like to see the ability to move it anywhere on my screen though. But if you want to do a quick search without having to open a browser first, it does the trick.

If you’ve been curious about Bing search, it’s a cool way to start introducing yourself to it – without it hijacking the default search engine in your current browser.

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