Bing Chat

What is Bing Chat?

Microsoft has recently given its Bing search engine a fresh update, introducing a feature called Bing Chat. This new feature harnesses the power of OpenAI’s advanced GPT-4 AI model to provide concise paragraph summaries in response to your queries. What sets Bing Chat apart from its competitors, ChatGPT and Google Bard, is its unwavering commitment to source citations, making it the most reliable option among the three. Whenever you use Bing Chat, you’ll notice that it consistently offers citations, allowing you to verify the information provided or delve deeper into your research.

However, Bing Chat is not without its drawbacks. It tends to deliver rather dry and occasionally inaccurate answers, and you may encounter bothersome ads in some of the results. When it comes to creative writing assistance, ChatGPT surpasses Bing Chat, while Google Bard offers more robust export options and visually appealing image responses. Another limitation of Bing Chat is its compatibility; it works best in the Microsoft Edge browser or the Bing mobile app, which might inconvenience users devoted to other browsers. At the moment, none of these AI chatbots have earned the title of Editors’ Choice winner, as they all have their flaws and unique features that are rapidly evolving.

What is Bing Chat?

You’re likely familiar with Microsoft Bing, the search engine that has been competing with Google since its launch in 2009. What’s new is the introduction of AI-generated search results, which Microsoft rolled out in February 2023. Powered by OpenAI’s advanced GPT-4 model, this feature distinguishes itself from traditional Bing search results by offering succinct summaries of linked web pages. For instance, when you search for “Oppenheimer movie reviews” on regular Bing, you see a list of links to different reviews. However, with Bing Chat, you get a concise one-sentence summary from various publications, providing you with a quick overview of the movie’s reception. Additionally, Bing Chat allows for interactive conversations, enabling you to refine its responses and build on the information it provides.

Bing Chat

How to Access Bing Chat?

To access Bing Chat, you used to be limited to the Edge browser, but as of August 7, 2023, Microsoft has made a simplified version available on third-party browsers like Google Chrome. Microsoft still recommends using Edge for the best experience, which includes longer conversations, chat history, and more integrated Bing features. You can also access Bing Chat on mobile devices via the Microsoft Bing or Edge apps, and all you need is a free Microsoft account. Bing Chat is available in 160 regions, slightly fewer than ChatGPT (195 countries) and Google Bard (180).

Bing Chat

While Bing Chat primarily prioritizes traditional link-based search results as its default option, you can easily switch to Chat mode in the top menu bar. Microsoft entices users by providing a preview of AI-generated results for your search query before allowing you to switch to the full chatbot experience.

Despite Microsoft’s efforts to make Bing Chat accessible on third-party browsers, it would be more convenient if it were offered as a standalone product rather than appearing as an Edge advertisement. Switching browsers solely for a chatbot seems like a significant leap, especially when users are already comfortable with their preferred browsers and have customized interfaces with bookmarks, extensions, and other tools. Moreover, other chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Bard can be fully utilized without changing browsers, with Google Bard even offering easy export options to Gmail, Docs, and other Google apps.

Is Bing Chat free?

Yes, it’s entirely free as long as you have a Microsoft account. In return, your interactions with Bing Chat help train the AI, and you may encounter ads in some of the responses. Google Bard is also free to use with a Google account, while ChatGPT offers a free “research preview” version and a ChatGPT Plus tier for $20 per month, giving you access to the more advanced GPT-4 model, which you can also try with Bing Chat for free.

Bing Uses GPT-4

Before getting too excited about GPT-4, it’s worth noting that for most everyday tasks, the free GPT-3.5 is faster and more than sufficient. GPT-4 may take up to 10 seconds to generate a response, but it excels in handling complex STEM questions or inquiries requiring “reasoning and advanced creativity,” as described by OpenAI. When comparing ChatGPT and Bing Chat, one noticeable difference is their writing style. ChatGPT tends to produce longer, more sophisticated sentences compared to Bing Chat. However, Bing Chat holds an advantage in terms of web connectivity, allowing it to access the latest information, such as current movie reviews, while ChatGPT remains unaware of events beyond its knowledge cutoff date in 2021.

Regarding conversation limits, both Bing Chat and ChatGPT have restrictions, allowing 30 exchanges on Bing and 50 on ChatGPT. While these limitations are generally sufficient for casual use, professional work or extensive projects may require more exchanges. In such cases, starting a new topic can refresh the exchange limit, but this results in losing the conversation history and potentially rehashing previously covered ground.

Three Conversation Style Options

When you first encounter Bing Chat, you’ll notice three conversation style options: More Creative, More Balanced, and Less Creative. While this approach aims to personalize the chatbot experience, it falls short in delivering significantly distinct responses in practice. For example, when testing these modes by asking Bing to rephrase the opening sentence of an article, all three modes suggested similar changes, and the differences in tone and vocabulary were minimal. In essence, More Creative did not provide the expected level of creativity in its responses.

Bing Chat

Surprisingly, Bing Chat’s three conversation styles don’t offer much variation, and it would be beneficial to see Microsoft differentiate them further or create a single AI engine that adapts its conversation style based on user preferences, similar to ChatGPT’s custom instructions feature.

Bing Chat Gets to the Point

One noteworthy feature of Bing Chat is its ability to get straight to the point. Regardless of the chosen conversation mode, Bing Chat’s responses are generally more concise and focused compared to Google Bard or ChatGPT. Bing Chat typically keeps its answers to around 100 words, even when asked to write longer pieces. The aim appears to be providing clear and concise information, rather than overwhelming users with extensive source data and expansive vocabulary. However, this approach comes with a downside: ads often appear in Bing Chat responses, taking up a significant portion of the screen and making the experience less user-friendly.

Bing Chat

The Best Citations of Any AI Chatbot

One area where Bing Chat truly excels is in its citation practices. It sets the standard for responsible information sourcing among AI tools. Most of its responses include footnotes that link directly to the sources, enhancing its credibility. In contrast, other chatbots, particularly ChatGPT, often lack proper citations.

Bing Chat

Google Bard falls somewhere in between, as it may list sources but sometimes includes incorrect or irrelevant ones. Bing Chat’s commitment to citations makes it a reliable choice for work-related tasks, as it allows users to fact-check the information provided. In some cases, sifting through the referenced sources and reading additional material can be more valuable than simply relying on the AI’s responses.

Bing Chat Will Not Write an Essay for You

While Bing Chat may be a valuable tool for quick search queries and topics where you’re unsure where to start, it falls short as a writer compared to its competitors. When asked to write a biography of Nelson Mandela, for instance, it produced a short 129-word response, while ChatGPT provided 558 words and Google Bard contributed 452. It also concluded its response with book advertisements related to Mandela, which may not be desirable.

It’s crucial to note that the content generated by AI chatbots like Bing Chat should not replace original creative work or in-depth historical research. While they can provide introductory information, they cannot replicate the creative thinking and nuanced interpretation that a human historian can offer.

Somewhat Helpful for Ideation, But Not a First Choice

In terms of creativity, Bing Chat’s More Creative style didn’t quite hit the mark. For instance, when asked about global warming, Bing Chat’s More Creative response ventured into offering an opinion, while the other modes provided scientifically accepted definitions of the phenomenon. This inconsistency in creativity between conversation styles can be disappointing, considering the user’s expectations.

Bing Chat may be somewhat helpful for ideation, particularly when you’re exploring topics outside your expertise. For instance, when asking for ideas about electric vehicles in India, It offered specific suggestions, which, while not overly compelling, provided a starting point for further exploration. Google Bard outshone the competition in this aspect by offering a comprehensive response with sample headlines and article content summaries. However, it’s worth noting that Bing Chat’s ideas were backed up with citations, which allowed users to verify the information.

It Will Not Replace Your Assistant

As for productivity, Bing Chat falls short in comparison to Google Bard. Bard excels in seamlessly integrating its responses into your workflow, offering one-click export options to various tools like Docs, Sheets, and Gmail.

In contrast, Bing Chat’s export options are limited to Microsoft Word, PDF, or a text file, which may not be very useful given its short and shallow responses. While all three chatbots offer basic copy-and-paste functionality, Bing Chat lacks the ability to create tables, a feature offered by ChatGPT and Google Bard.

Bing Chat’s Best Feature: Free Image Generator

One standout feature of Bing Chat is its image generator, a feature absent in its competitors. This feature allows users to request AI-generated images, such as “a dog in a canoe” or “the pope coding,” without the need for a subscription. However, it upholds ethical standards by refusing to create images involving well-known individuals or controversial subjects. This responsible approach ensures that potentially misleading or harmful images are not generated.

Bing Chat

Bing Chat: Pros and Cons


  • Best citations of any chatbot we’ve tested
  • Pulls up-to-date information from the web
  • Powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 model
  • Free image generator
  • Three conversation styles
  • Accessible on mobile


  • Short, non-comprehensive answers
  • Ads appear in some results
  • Limited to 30 responses per conversation
  • Not very good for creative tasks


Bing Chat is a reliable chatbot with a focus on search inquiries, making it a valuable tool for quick information retrieval. Its consistent source citations enhance its trustworthiness, making it easier to fact-check and explore the referenced material. However, it falls short of being a comprehensive productivity tool, particularly when compared to Google Bard. The choice between these chatbots ultimately depends on your specific tasks and digital habits, as none of them emerge as a clear Editors’ Choice winner. While Bing Chat may not be the ultimate all-in-one AI solution, it is certainly worth trying, especially if you prioritize reliable information sourcing and quick search-related queries.

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