Queries provide data mine for Microsoft's AI developments

Microsoft's Bing search engine has long been a punch line in the tech industry, an also-ran that has never come close to challenging Google's dominant position.

But Microsoft could still have the last laugh, since its service has helped lay the groundwork for its burgeoning artificial intelligence effort, which is helping keep the company competitive as it builds out its post-PC future.

Bing probably never stood a chance at surpassing Google, but its 2nd-place spot is worth far more than the advertising dollars it pulls in with every click. Billions of searches over time have given Microsoft a massive repository of everyday questions people ask about their health, the weather, store hours or directions.


“The way machines learn is by looking for patterns in data,” said former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, when asked earlier this year about the relationship between Microsoft's AI efforts and Bing, which he helped launch nearly a decade ago. “It takes large data sets to make that happen.”

Microsoft has spent decades investing in various forms of artificial intelligence research, the fruits of which include its voice assistant Cortana, email-sorting features and the machine-learning algorithms used by businesses that pay for its cloud platform Azure.

It's been stepping up its overt efforts recently, such as with this year's acquisition of Montreal-based Maluuba, which aims to create “literate machines” that can process and communicate information more like humans do.

Some see Bing as the overlooked foundation to those efforts.

“They're getting a huge amount of data across a lot of different contexts – mobile devices, image searches,” said Larry Cornett, a former executive for Yahoo's search engine. “Whether it was intentional or not, having hundreds of millions of queries a day is exactly what you need to power huge artificial intelligence systems.”

Bing started in 2009, a rebranding of earlier Microsoft search engines. Yahoo and Microsoft signed a deal for Bing to power Yahoo's search engine, giving Microsoft access to Yahoo's greater search share, said Cornett, who worked for Yahoo at the time. Similar deals have infused Bing into the search features for Amazon tablets and, until recently, Apple's Siri.

All of this has helped Microsoft better understand language, images and text at a large scale, said Steve Clayton, who as Microsoft's chief storyteller helps communicate the company's AI strategy.

“It's so much more than a search engine for Microsoft,” he said. “It's fuel that helps build other things.”

Bing serves dual purposes, he said, as a source of data to train artificial intelligence and a vehicle to be able to deliver smarter services.

While Google also has the advantage of a powerful search engine, other companies making big investments in the AI race – such as IBM or Amazon – do not.

“Amazon has access to a ton of e-commerce queries, but they don't have all the other queries where people are asking everyday things,” Cornett said.

Neither Bing nor Microsoft's AI efforts have yet made major contributions to the company's overall earnings, though the company repeatedly points out “we are infusing AI into all our products,” including the workplace applications it sells to corporate customers.

The company on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter profit of $6.6 billion, up 16 percent from a year earlier, on revenue of $24.5 billion, up 12 percent. Meanwhile, Bing-driven search advertising revenue increased by $210 million, or 15 percent, to $1.6 billion – or roughly 7 percent of Microsoft's overall business.

That's OK by current Microsoft current CEO Satya Nadella, who nearly a decade ago was the executive tapped by Ballmer to head Bing's engineering efforts.

In his recent autobiography, Nadella describes the search engine as a “great training ground for building the hyper-scale, cloud-first services” that have allowed the company to pivot to new technologies as its old PC-software business wanes.

Source: This article was published journalgazette.net By MATT O'BRIEN

Categorized in Search Engine

Microsoft is introducing Cortana to Skype users. The artificial intelligence will come to Skype in the form of the personal assistant Cortana. The assistant will help users make plans for going out or look up information.

Skype will be more enjoyable with Cortana

The addition of the personal assistant to Skype was announced for the first time over a year ago and it is still unknown what is taking Microsoft so long. It is said that the implementation is similar to the one used by Facebook for its assistant in Messenger and Google with Allo.


When a Skype user is chatting, Cortana appears to bellow the most recent messages and tries to assist you by suggesting a restaurant or creating reminders. Users can also chat with Cortana.

Cortana, Microsoft’s assistant

Intelligent personal assistants are used by all big companies. Google has Allo, iPhone has Siri, Amazon has Alexa and there are plenty more out there. Cortana is created by Microsoft for Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Amazo Aexa and Windows Mixed Reality.

So far Cortana is available in only a handful of languages suh as English, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Spanish Japanese and Chinese.

The personal assistant can recognize natural voice without keyboard input sets reminders and answers questions (it uses the Bing search engine). It was natural that Microsoft would use its own search engine, Bing, to help Cortana.

Also, Cortana can simulate rolling a dice or flipping a coin and it has music recognition service (Bing Audio). The service can only recognize recorded songs; it is not available for humming or live songs. The assistant has the Concert Watch feature which monitors Bing search engines to determine user’s favorite bands or musicians. Another service included is the Foursquare that provides local attractions and restaurants.

Source: This article was published tech.blorge.com By Andrew Matviles

Categorized in News & Politics

Search has been at the forefront of conversation for advertisers in recent months as the likes of Google, Pinterest and Asos announced their move away from the traditional search to focus on image and voice search. The step back from key words and search engine optimisation (SEO) has also brought around many questions about the use of data, machine learning and the morality of paid search.

At The Drum’s search breakfast, Daniel Wilkonson, head of paid media at Jellyfish, explained why he is worried that brands and marketers might be overlooking image search. Noting Asos’s recent image search update, which allows shoppers to snap an item they like in a shop and find similar items on Asos.com, he said: “I think, especially for fashion brands, image search is a great new way of providing an enhanced customer experience.


“But it can be used for other industries as well, and I think this ties into discovery using image search and discovery. As humans we respond better to images and videos, rather than seeing a text. The search pages, there are more images and videos now. And I think that is going to continue to grow.”

Moving on from image search

While also excited about the advancements in search, Thom Arkestal, head of insights EMEA, Microsoft Advertising, said: “image search will be one of the searches of future,” but noted that this is nothing new dubbing it “a big industry secret.”

He added: “If you look at where the industry is heading in digital advertising in general, search is becoming core to almost everything.”

However, while image search is expected to become important to brands and marketers, he also believes the future is automation and machine learning. “I wouldn’t talk about AI necessarily, but machine learning. It has automated bidding which is core as a search advertiser. I actually think in one or two years from now, it will question what I am going to do on a day to day basis.” Arkestal said.

“AI and machine learning are all about image search and voice search. Those capabilities and technologies are going to be core to search and that is where search and consumer engagement is headed.”

Due to a surge in customer data, brands and marketers alike are now able to use AI and machine learning to find a customers need and promote better results in search using these insights. This is something the likes of Amazon is already promoting with its repurchase function.

Can digital assistants provide paid search result?


A point that seems to be echoed throughout the industry however is how brands will be able to monetize voice search. While Google is the most trusted place for searches, Jon Hunter, search director at Every1, explains that this is due to their years of generating natural search results. While Google does use a user's data and machine learning capabilities to perhaps promote ads, the search results are predominantly natural.

However, when it comes to voice search, there is the problem that very few people will want to hear a list of results and will therefore result in only one response spoken back - this could be an issue which will bring to light the integrity of a digital assistant's search results if they are to promote paid search. Hunter asked: “How are search engines going to be able to deal with one value? All you’ve got to do is give one paid result that is bad and the trust is gone.

“There is a certain element where the natural search results are so important and based on trust that if we replace too much of it on advertising it will damage the overall trust values.”

Earlier this year, Amazon dipped its toe into paid voice search however as it stands nothing has come of the trial. Arkestal noted the attempt and suggested that all digital assistant companies are working to solve the problem of paid voice search. He said: “The fact is that the core of digital assistants future is consumer trust. If there is no trust, people are not going to use them and then they cannot be monetized.

“It might actually be more of what Amazon is doing with Alexa at now with a repeat purchase prospective and a chance to reengage with a customer. It is further away from discovery and current search but it is about building a loyalty with customers.

“If you already are using your voice, then the digital assistant will already be learning what your preferred brand is.”

Source: This article was published thedrum.com By Jenny Cleeton

Categorized in Search Engine

SFW Some of the dozens of users of Bing today spotted a lewd sand carving semi-hidden in the Microsoft search engine's front page splash photo.

The snap, an overhead shot of an idyllic beach, sits behind the search bar on Bing.com. The crude anatomical artwork was clocked about three hours ago, and may have been there even longer. You can see the offending appendage in the lower right-hand corner of the picture:

Yup, that's a penis


What a dick move. Our probing investigative team in the UK earlier had a stiff drink, took a close look, and verified this was legit and not a prank Photoshop. In the past hour, the Bing team got wise to the sandy schlong and edited out the free willy on its premier dot-com.

Bang, and the chopper is gone

We've asked Microsoft for comment on the matter, but so far Redmond has yet to poke its head out on this one. Hopefully the person responsible for this cock-up won't be given the shaft. ®

Updated to add

A Microsoft spokesperson told us the Windows giant has nothing to say.

Source: This article was published theregister.co.uk By Shaun Nichols

Categorized in Search Engine

Binging for pennies

The uptake for Microsoft's long-suffering search engine, Bing, continues to be so dismal that Redmond has resorted to paying people to use it.

The "loyalty scheme" offers points that can be exchanged for charity donations or music, games, devices and other stuff on the Microsoft Store. Users are awarded three points per search, up to 30 a day at Level 1.

To get an idea of what they're worth, 5,300 gets you a £5 Xbox digital gift card, which equates to 10 per cent off a current-gen game. That's quite a grind – 176 days of furious Binging for pennies. But hit Level 2, by bashing Bing for 500 points per month, and you can reap 150 points a day.


Will this get more people using Bing? Maybe. Will it take Bing to the top? Perhaps not.

Google corners a hefty 77.98 per cent of the global search engine market and doesn't look like it's going anywhere soon. Bing is the second most used at 7.81 per cent, with China's Baidu rounding third at 7.71 percent.

Google once tried a similar experiment called Screenwise. You'd use a browser extension that shared your history and habits – and wind up with about £15 at the end of the year. But it's not like the Chocolate Factory needed the cash... or traffic. ®

Source: This article was published theregister.co.uk By Andrew Silver

Categorized in Search Engine

Don't be a know-it-all. Be this instead.

I'm a big fan of Microsoft's Satya Nadella. Since taking over as CEO just three years ago, he's used a combination of effective leadership and brilliant business moves to return the tech company to relevance.

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Nadella credits Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck's best-selling book, Mindset, as the inspiration for the culture he's trying to build at Microsoft.


Here's Satya:

"I was reading it not in the context of business or work culture, but in the context of my children's education. The author describes the simple metaphor of kids at school. One of them is a 'know-it-all' and the other is a 'learn-it-all,' and the 'learn-it-all' always will do better than the other one even if the 'know-it-all' kid starts with much more innate capability."

"Going back to business: If that applies to boys and girls at school, I think it also applies to CEOs like me, and entire organizations, like Microsoft."

We could summarize this brilliant strategy in one sentence:


"Don't be a know-it-all; be a learn-it-all."

Why this is great advice.

There's no shortage of self-proclaimed experts, authorities, and gurus out there. But self-proclaimed titles aren't only useless, they're dangerous.

My colleague Mandy Antoniacci explained why in a past column:

"For me, referring to yourself as an 'expert' in any field assumes the position that you have reached your fullest potential. It implies you have attained a thrilling pinnacle in your career and that your thirst for knowledge in a particular subject has been quenched."

In other words, experts consider themselves "know-it-alls."

But instead of considering yourself an expert, what if you think of yourself as a student?

Now, you've switched your focus. Instead of limiting yourself or becoming overly concerned with how you are viewed by others, your primary concern is one of growth. Mistakes are no longer "failures"; rather, they're learning opportunities.

And that influences your entire approach to work and life.

For example, notice how Nadella has implemented this mindset at Microsoft:


"Some people can call it rapid experimentation, but more importantly, we call it 'hypothesis testing.' Instead of saying 'I have an idea,' what if you said 'I have a new hypothesis, let's go test it, see if it's valid, ask how quickly can we validate it.' And if it's not valid, move on to the next one."

"There's no harm in claiming failure, if the hypothesis doesn't work. To me, being able to come up with the new ways of doing things, new ways of framing what is a failure and what is a success, how does one achieve success--it's through a series of failures, a series of hypothesis testing. That's in some sense the real pursuit."

Nadella certainly practices what he preaches. (For example, check out the extraordinary email he sent employees after what many considered an "epic fail.") And when the leader sets the example, it sets the tone for everyone else.

So, whether you're a CEO, an employee, a parent, a child, or all of the above, try it out today:

Test the hypothesis. If it works, figure out how to make it better. If it doesn't, move on to the next idea.

But no matter what, remember:

Don't be a know-it-all. Be a learn-it-all.

Source: This article was published inc.com By Justin Bariso

Categorized in Search Engine

Facebook, with its tech cohorts Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon, have huge pools of data about their users, which lend considerable network advantages over smaller players. Credit Noah Berger/Associated Press

There is a growing drumbeat that the five leading tech behemoths have turned into dangerous monopolies that stifle innovation and harm consumers. Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook — what the tech columnist Farhad Manjoo calls the Frightful Five — have a combined market capitalization of more than $2.7 trillion and are an increasing part of everyday life.

They are each assembling enormous pools of data about their users — which they use not just to sell more targeted advertising, but to improve and personalize their services, increasing their network advantage against smaller players.


But while these firms are increasingly formidable and deserve scrutiny, over all their market power appears less durable than infrastructure-based monopolies of previous generations. As David Evans and Richard Schmalensee note in “Matchmakers,” dominant digital platforms are “likely to be more transient than economists and pundits once thought.”

In most tech markets, multiple players reach viable scale. And consumers often have an incentive to switch between competing services, based on convenience and price.

Not only are these titans vulnerable to regular existential threats (recall Microsoft’s unbreakable hegemony over PC software that didn’t translate to mobile computing), they are also all converging — therefore competing — with one another.

All five of these firms are in a broad race to dominate consumers’ digital lives at home and at work. They all offer a suite of connected services — for instance, some combination of music, video and communication services — which increasingly overlap with one another. They are each expanding their market opportunity, but also straying out of their zones of competitive advantage into areas of increasing rivalry. This convergence in strategy, products and tactics is a powerful inoculation to anticompetitive outcomes.

Many of the recent monopoly arguments rely upon narrowly defining markets to make a rhetorical case, as well as hypothetical consumer harm. Ben Thompson, who writes the tech newsletter Stratechery, for instance, argued recently that Facebook has a monopoly in the “content provider market.”


It is easy to see how commentators get worked up about Facebook, given it controls several large, overlapping networks including WhatsApp and Instagram. But the claim that it has a monopoly over content providers, is risible. Even if Facebook were the singular acquirer of content, that would make it a monopsonist, not a monopolist. This distinction is critical because a monopsonist — who is the only buyer for a given set of suppliers — uses its power to squeeze input prices (like the sole employer in a town, keeping wages low). Whereas a monopolist uses its power to raise consumer prices.

Facebook’s importance as a major traffic source for many content sites is self-evident, but publishers still go directly to consumers and use other significant intermediaries — notably Google, which is owned by Alphabet. The woes of the publishing industry are because of the impact of the internet, not Facebook.

Mr. Thompson unconvincingly asserts that Facebook’s power over publishers produces a “dead weight loss” (where monopoly taxation leads to a waste of resources) and that consumers are afflicted by Facebook’s stifling of innovation. But Facebook users are not suffering under the yoke of oppressive masters. On the contrary, they are benefiting from a period of intense competition.

The same applies when it comes to entertainment. Netflix isn’t one of the big five, but it enjoyed a brief honeymoon as a monopoly after it crushed Blockbuster. But just a few years later, it faces intense competition around the globe. While the Netflix chief executive, Reed Hastings, may say that “sleep” is his company’s major rival, in reality, Amazon and Alphabet — not to mention Hulu, HBO and myriad local players — prevent Netflix from running away with the market.

Commentators often conflate ubiquity, or narrow market dominance, with a broad-based monopoly. Amazon regularly gets tarred with this brush. About 80 million people now take a Prime subscription bundle, according to industry estimates. Weaving together multiple products and services under one compelling offering gives Amazon a formidable advantage to which its rivals are scrambling to react. But even so, Amazon is so far only exhibiting signs of market dominance in the market for books. And even there, as Paul Krugman has noted, it looks more like a monopsonist exerting market power than a monopolist exploiting consumers.

For diapers, dog food, videos, music, cloud-computing services, voice technology and so forth — it faces extreme competition from other tech companies, not to mention traditional retailers. Walmart alone is still four times its size in retail (albeit much smaller online). In video and music, Amazon is an order of magnitude smaller than Netflix and Spotify. And in cloud computing, Amazon faces serious competition from Alphabet and Microsoft and others, which offer similar services, also on a grand scale.

It is blindingly obvious that traditional retailers are suffering. But holding Amazon responsible for the decline in brick-and-mortar retail is like blaming Craigslist for the death of print classifieds. The natural gravitational pull of the internet caused those problems, not one company.


While almost all of the hand-wringing about tech monopolies is overblown. The player that perhaps warrants the closest scrutiny today is Alphabet, and in particular its Google search engine.

Google’s overwhelming dominance of search (it has 90 percent market share in United States search revenue) is particularly critical given search’s centrality to the web’s commercial ecosystem. Google, however, has not been sensitive enough in handling its power — especially with its history of bringing the fight to smaller, narrowly focused rivals, like Yelp in the local reviews market. Its strategy in certain verticals resembles the old survival maxim: First, eat what the monkey eats, then eat the monkey.

There is no denying that the leading tech companies are riding high. The recent signal by the Federal Communications Commission that it intends to ditch net neutrality has fueled concerns that the Frightful Five will further stifle competition from start-ups. While these firms have all been public advocates for net neutrality (they don’t want to be taxed by Comcast or Verizon), they won’t have any trouble affording whatever “tax” the carriers might impose. Instead, the companies at some risk of real disadvantage will be start-ups we haven’t heard of yet.

However, as consumers continue to migrate to mobile, neutrality matters less. Mobile carriers already use “zero rating” (whereby certain services don’t count toward data caps) to advantage their own content (or that of their partners). And unlike in fixed broadband, consumers are afforded some protection by the real choice they have in mobile carriers.

Plainly there is no cause to be Pollyannaish. It’s sensible to be wary of acquisitions and potential overreach. And there may be specific cases that cross the line and should be reined in. Over all though, the kind of competition we see among Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft tends to sort things out naturally and brutally.


The only surefire winner from this battle is the consumer.

Source : This article was published in nytimes.com By JEREMY G. PHILIPS

Categorized in Social

The tech industry today, has evolved into being dominated by three big players – Apple, Google & Microsoft. In fact, Apple  – for a short amount of time – was even the most valuable company on the planet. Its safe to call these three one of the most valuable firms in the world. But everything that goes up, must come down and the question arises, which of these 3 will fall first ?


When seen independently, its plainly obvious that Apple holds a higher position in the average consumer’s minds among the three. Right from the moment Steve Jobs released the very first iPod, the company has been synonymous with quality and style to such an extent that the second biggest phone manufacturer tried to rip off their designs to become the second best.


That being said, Apple is facing a turn around in fortunes. Sales of its products, besides the iPhone have been dwindling in the past few months. The Apple Watch was the first new product from the company that didn’t set the market alight. Market share and sales of the iPad have been falling steadily and Macbooks – though revered – were never a major player.

If you feel we’re over estimating the decline, consider how far Apple has deviated in the past few years from its strategy the decade before. Apple products were top of the line, but today, every product has a cheaper version ( iPad mini, iPhone SE). The iPad even released a version with a stylus, something Steve Jobs was dead set against, as commonly known. Everything that shines, isn’t gold apparently.



The company that started as a search engine and has expanded into areas as far as driver-less cars, has made Google into the the biggest brand today. Could you imagine your life with Google today? Imagine going to a new place and finding your way without Google Maps, or looking for information without a Google search. The company has become indispensable in today’s time. The icing on the cake being most of these services, aren’t charged.

This also brings along, a flip side – how does Google earn? While it is known as a web search company, in reality Google is an advertising company. If you doubt, have a look at its revenue distribution:

One way to understand Google’s business model is: Google doesn’t sell products, it sells consumers. As a marketing company, it earns its revenue by showing its consumers advertisements. The more Google products we use, the more information it has about us, the more targeted ads it can show us. The better its advertising network, the higher the ad premium. The plus side being, Google practically owns the internet advertising monopoly. There isn’t a competitor around that hold a candle to Google.

At present, there isn’t anyone who can dethrone Google from the top of its pyramid. This might change in a few years however, as most analysts predict voice to become the new medium by which we use the internet and adverting on voice search is not as easy as advertising on a webpage. Imagine you asking your phone’s AI to search for the nearest coffee shop and it plays out a 30 second ad before giving you the result, who would use such a service? Advertising in the future will look very different – if at all it lasts into the future with the increased use of Ad Blockers.

It would seem that Google is the most vulnerable at this point, but we need to consider one more aspect of the company, its flexibility. Google is one of the rare behemoths that has been able to read the changing times and is willing to change with it. One of them is it identified correctly the rise of smartphones and invested early. Even today, the company is expanding into driver-less cars, content creation(YouTube), AR with Google Glass and cardboard and even the more conventional product with the Google Pixel & Chromebooks.


Finally we come to the company at the root of the technological revolution. Most people today, would consider Microsoft of a bygone era with only one successful product in its bag – Windows. However, considering that Windows almost commands a monopoly in desktop OSes, one would be naive to write them off. Sure, it has many other products that haven’t been able to match up to their competition, but the company has one advantage the other two in this list don’t – diversity.


Microsoft’s revenue today is not dependent on any one product or service. Using its reputation at the turn of the century, the company has expanded into a host of domains. As a comparison, we present the revenue streams of Microsoft against Apple.

Just by looking at the 3 revenue distribution graphs, we can plainly see Microsoft as the only company that doesn’t depend on just one product to survive. This is the reason they’ve survived multiple failures in the past including Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows Phone. If you noticed, Windows is supposed to be their golden egg laying goose right ? Yet, 3 iteration failures in under a decade did not even dent their revenue. This alone, in my opinion proves beyond doubt which the strongest company is, among the tree.

So who will fall first ?

Its pretty clear from what we’ve discussed, Microsoft is the least likely to fail among the big three. That still leaves the question, who gets the top spot ? From revenue streams, though Google appears the most vulnerable, it has shown its ability to adapt and change. Though it hasn’t managed much success in its alternate ventures but Android, Chrome and Maps too were alternate ventures once and they have become indispensable today. This gives us enough reason to believe when push comes to shove, Google might stumble, but it will pull through.


Apple on the other hand has been unable to shake off its reliance on the iPhone. For a while, the iPad did provide diversity to an extent, but it is already in decline with nothing seemingly close enough to offer a different revenue stream. Its past attempts to move beyond its core products too haven’t been promising. Not to mention, Apple depends on its users sticking to its ecosystem. With the loyalty of modern users changing like the seasons, this leaves it the most vulnerable thus taking the top spot, followed by Google and Microsoft taking the cake with the company least likely to fail.

This article was published in techworm.net By Delwyn Pinto

Categorized in Search Engine

With the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft also introduced its latest browser Microsoft Edge that is going to replace Internet Explorer. With Edge, Microsoft is directly trying to compete against dominators like Chrome and Firefox. Although, it is still not as good as the current top browsers, but it has some great potential with many new features and customization options. It is built on the concept of offering simple interface with everything important in sight. However, when you dig deep a bit, you will find many advanced options as well.

Like everyone else, you must also be curious to find out what Microsoft Edge is hiding and how it can improve your browsing experience. To help you with your quest, we have created this list of best Microsoft Edge Tips and Tricks containing everything to take full advantage of Edge features.

Useful Microsoft Edge Tips and Tricks

1. Customize Start Page


Let’s start with the Start Page of the Microsoft Edge. Start page is the page that you see when you launch the Edge. You can decide what you want to see as soon as you launch the browser. To do this, click on the Main menu on the top right corner (it has three horizontal dots), and then click on “Settings”.

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In settings, you will find options to customize Start page under the heading “Open with”. Here you can select, Start page, New tab page, Previous page and A specific page or pages.

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2. Customize New Tab in Edge

To customize what you would like to see when a new tab is opened, click on Main menu on the right and then click on “Settings”. Now, click on the drop down menu below the heading “Open new tabs with” and choose your option.

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3. Edge Lets You Import Favorites and Bookmarks from other Browsers

For now, you can easily important bookmarks from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. To do so, click on “Hub” button on the top right corner (it has three horizontal lines on it), and then click on “Import favorites”. On the next page, just select the browsers from which you want to important bookmarks and click on “Import”.

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4. Microsoft Edge’s Reading View Clears Out Distractions

In the Reading View, all other distracting content such as ads or article suggestions on a website is stripped away, leaving you with just the article content. This is extremely handy when you just want to enjoy reading an article without any distractions.


While reading an article on the web, click on the “Book” icon on the top-left corner to activate Reading View on Microsoft Edge.

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5. Create Article Reading List on Edge

Instead of saving your favorite articles to your favorites (bookmark) and clutter the place with other saved websites, you can just save them to the reading list. When you are on an article, click on the “Star” icon at the top and navigate to “Reading list” tab. Now, just click on “Add” to add the article to the list.

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6. Share a Webpage (Link or Screenshot)

On Microsoft Edge, you can directly share a webpage with any social media site, as long as you have its app installed in your PC. For example, to share on Twitter, you must install Twitter app on your PC to get the option to share it there.

While browsing, click on “Share” button at the top right corner and select the app to which you would like to share the link. If you want to share a screenshot of a webpage instead, then click on the name of the web page in the same menu. This will open up a new menu where you can select “Screenshot” option. Once selected, you can select the social media app and a screenshot will be shared instead of the link. 

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7. Annotate a Webpage


Edge will let you write, draw or highlight content on a web page, and save or share it as you please. Click on the “Pen and Paper” icon on the top-right corner and after a short delay you will see all the options to annotate the page. Just use the options on the left to annotate and then select options from left side to save or share the page.

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8. Add a Website to the Start Menu

You can also add a website to the Start menu for quicker access with just a single click. To do so, click on the main menu icon in the Edge and select “Pin to Start” from the menu. The webpage will be pinned to Start menu Tiles.

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9. Change Theme of Edge

Microsoft Edge comes with two themes, Light and Dark. You can select the one that fits your personality better. Click on the main menu and from there, click on “Settings”. Now, just choose the theme from the drop down menu under the heading “Choose a theme”.

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10. Browse Privately in Microsoft Edge

Just like other browsers, Edge also comes with a private mode in which no traces of browsing is left on the PC. To enter private window, click on main menu and then click on “New InPrivate Window”.

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11. Flash Integration


Just like Chrome, Edge also comes with Flash player to play some flash based videos on the web. You can turn this feature ON or OFF as you may please. Just go to “Settings” from the main menu and then click on “Advanced Settings”. Here, you will find the option of “Use Adobe Flash Player”, enable or disable it as you please.

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12. Enable Home Button in Microsoft Edge

Home Button is disabled by default, to enable it, go to “Settings” from the main menu and click on “Advanced settings”. Here, just enable or disable the “Home Button”. You can also specify which page to direct to when you press the Home button.

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13. Show the Favorites Bar

For faster access to your favorite sites, it is better to show favorites bar on the main interface. To enable Favorites bar, click on the main menu and then click on “Settings”. In the settings, enable the option “Show the favorites bar”.

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14. Change Default Search Engine in Edge

Before you change the search engine, you must access the search engine in the Edge’s search bar to add it to the list of available search engines. For example, for Google you must access “Google.com” and then follow the instructions.

Now, go to settings from the main menu and click on “Advanced settings”. Here, scroll down and click on “Add new” from the drop down menu under the heading “Search in the address bar with”. Now just select the search engine and click on “Add” to make it your default search engine.

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15. Open Web pages with Internet Explorer

Edge doesn’t support Silverlight plugin, a plugin used to stream specific forms of media, graphics and animations, similar to Adobe Flash. So there is a chance sometime you might have to open a webpage with Internet Explorer to view it properly (Internet Explorer has Silverlight plugin built-in).

While on a web page, click on the main menu and select “Open with Internet Explorer” to open that page in Internet Explorer.

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16. Use caret Browsing in Edge

In caret browsing, you can navigate a website using your keyboard without any need of reaching your mouse. A text cursor will be placed on the web pages, which you can use to open links and navigate. To enable caret browsing, press “F7” key on your keyboard and confirm the prompt to start using.


17. Cortana Integration in Edge

Cortana is also integrated into Microsoft edge with her default settings. She will provide suggestions while searching and provide information right inside the search bar. She may also provide more information on a topic, if she thinks you may like to know more. We have recently listed some of the coolest Cortana Tricks that every Windows 10 user should know, give this article a read to better your Windows 10 as well as Microsoft Edge experience.

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18. Some Useful Edge Keyboard Shortcuts

Edge also has some useful keyboard shortcuts that may make things a lot quicker. Below are some worth knowing:

Open History       Ctrl+H
Open Favorites  Ctrl+I
Duplicate tab Ctrl+K
Open InPrivate Window Ctrl+Shift+P
Access Reading View Ctrl+Shift+R
Cancel loading page Esc

19. Edge Privacy Settings

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To access privacy settings, go to “Settings” from the main menu and then click on “Advanced Settings”. In the advanced settings, you will find all the options that may affect your privacy under the heading “Privacy and Services”.

These options include, Offer to save Passwords, Save form entries, Send Do Not Track requests, Cortana integration, Cookies and Show suggestions as I type.

20. Last but not the least, Extensions will come to Edge soon

Microsoft promises that they will add Extensions support soon in an update. So you should not decide that Edge is not better than other browsers just because it can’t support extensions right now. Just wait a bit and soon you should be able to see some more functionality with third-party extensions.


If you think we missed out on any good feature of Edge which could have been included in our list of cool Microsoft Edge tips and tricks, feel free to let us know in comments section.

 This article was published in beebom.com

Categorized in Search Engine

Microsoft To-Do is already a buzz in the mobile application world. And you probably might be one of the users. We recently saw how to use Microsoft To-Do app and also discussed troubleshooting common To-Do problems. In this post, we intend to cover some Microsoft To-Do Tips & Tricks that might help you if you are going to use the app regularly.

Microsoft To-Do app Tips & Tricks

Using ‘Ok Google’ with To-Do

The latest inclusion in Android Nougat was the Google Assistant. And Microsoft To-Do app supports voice commands that are compatible with the assistant. You can simply start the assistant by saying “Ok Google”. Then say “Take a Note”. The assistant would prompt you if you have more than one note taking applications. Once you’ve selected Microsoft To-Do from the list, you are good to go. Now say whatever you want to save as a note. All the notes go into To-Do list by default and the settings cannot be changed for now.


Microsoft To-Do app Tips & Tricks

Using Siri with To-Do

The pre-requisite for using Siri with To-Do is that you must have registered your Microsoft Account with iPhone. If you have a work account then you need to register your Exchange account with iPhone. Now fire up iPhone’s settings, tap Reminders > Default List and then select the desired list. Now you use the voice commands to add reminders or notes to To-Do. Just say ‘Hey Siri, remind me to…’ and your reminder will be synced with To-Do.

Using 3D Touch with To-Do

Microsoft To-Do supports the most anticipated pressure sensitive touch feature of the iPhone. You can press the To-Do icon to get a list of three options available. You can create a new To-Do, view ‘My Day’ and search between To-Do from that menu itself.

Sharing anything to To-Do on Android

Just imagine that you got an important message or an email and you want to reminded about that. You can just select the message or the text, hit the share button and select To-Do from the app list. Now you would be taken to the To-Do application where you can customize more settings. You can easily add any reminder or To-Do using this sharing technique available on Android.

Add Icons to List name

While I was using the app, I noticed that I was not able to add icons to the lists. There is a workaround, just rename the list and add the desired emoji at the beginning of the name of the list. The emoji would be treated as the list icon. The icons look cool and can help you easily identify a list. Basic emojis are supported but some complex ones are not yet supported.

Magic Number

A perfect schedule is that when you are not overbooked and you are carrying out an optimum number of tasks each day. Magic Number works the same way. It predicts the optimum number of tasks that you must add to your day to be as much productive as possible. Doing less but doing what you’ve decided creates a sense of accomplishment rather than a demotivating thought.

Prioritize yourself

Create a new list where you can add some simple off the beat To-Dos like listening music. These entertaining tasks can help you stay productive and refreshed for the whole day. Although the app doesn’t offer any particular option to create such lists. But you can create recurring tasks to ‘My Day’ section. This way you keep yourself entertained even in your hectic schedule. Also, you can prioritize tasks by adding due dates. The app does not support priority levels for now.

Productivity and To-Do


Microsoft To-Do is meant to be a productivity focused application. That is the sole reason behind the My Day section in the application. It is suggested that you should add tasks to this section every morning so that you can have a complete sense of what you are going to do throughout the day. Planning your day before hand has always proved to be a successful way of accomplishing tasks. Hit the bulb icon to get more productivity suggestions.

Accomplishments and Suggestions

Hit the bulb icon to know what tasks you accomplished yesterday and the tasks that are overdue. Based upon your usage, the app can suggest you the tasks that you should consider doing today. Before actually updating your My Day section in the morning, it is advised to have a look at what the app has for you. More you use the application, more precise suggestions it will make over time.

Adding Due Dates

A great way to stay productive and keep track of your tasks is by adding due dates. Adding a deadline to a task makes you mentally more focussed about it and you complete it on time. Also, if you add a deadline, the app can remind you about that and can show that task in suggestions. The application can automatically show you suggestions based upon the upcoming tasks and the overdue tasks.

Recurring Tasks

Want to achieve a goal and devote some time to it daily? Simply create a task and set it to repeat daily. Now all you need to do is add that task to ‘My Day’ and you will be reminded about it daily and the app can simply help you achieve a goal. I’ve added swimming and meditation to my schedule so that I can take out some time for my health from this hectic college schedule.


These were some tips and tricks that can help you utilize the application in a better way. And yes, don’t forget to see your magic number and plan your schedule accordingly. All the changes you make to the application will be synced to all of your devices.

This article was  published in thewindowsclub.com

Categorized in Search Engine
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