Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered Bing Chat is coming “soon” to third-party browsers, which includes mobile devices.
The expansion will bring the AI-enabled tool to users beyond those who prefer the Bing mobile app and Microsoft Edge web browser — which, let's face it, isn't nearly as many users as popular browsers like Chrome or Firefox can boast.
As part of the announcement, Microsoft has released some numbers to highlight the success of its AI bot: Within just the six months that the tool has been around, it has surpassed one billion chats in total. This is another confirmation of what we've all guessed: AI is pretty popular in 2023.
Bing Chat Will Have More Limitations in Other Browsers
Under a section titled “Third-Party Browser Support,” Microsoft's announcement explained what users can expect for Bing's functionality outside of Microsoft Edge. First, they confirmed that the new functionality has one big goal: Reaching more users.
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“This next step in the journey allows Bing to showcase the incredible value of summarized answers, image creation and more, to a broader array of people.”
At the same time, Microsoft notes that the original flavor Bing offers the “best-in-class” experience:
“With Edge, you'll unlock longer conversations, chat history, and more Bing features built right into the browser. To experience the best browser for Bing, and get the full breadth of features, simply open the Microsoft Edge browser and click the Bing Chat icon in the sidebar.”
TechCrunch has a little more on what type of limitations to expect: Apparently, testers using Chrome reported that the tool only supported five messages per conversation, down from 30, and limited character counts of 2,000, rather than 3,000.
There's no clear date for when third-party browser support will arrive, either, or if certain browsers are first in line for this new access to Bing Chat.
Microsoft Has Faith in Bing Chat
The fact that Microsoft wants to roll out Bing Chat to everyone outside of its walled garden of Microsoft products says a lot about how much faith the company has in its AI solution.
Assuming the tool really does have a lot to offer, it can serve as a top-of-the-funnel incentive to usher more users into the Microsoft system, allowing the tech giant to remain in the same conversation as much bigger browsers like Chrome, which currently holds 63.55% of the market share of browsers worldwide, compared to Edge's 5.14% share.
Artificial intelligence has made huge strides in the last few years — even while it still has a long way to go, both when it comes to concerns surrounding copyright and when it comes to its actual performance.
We're Still Seeing How Much AI Can Do
The tech community is no stranger to hype cycles: In just the last few years, we've seen cryptocurrency, the Metaverse, and NFTs, to name a few. Generative AI has definitely been the top trend across 2023. But as with any hyped-up technology, one big question remains: Can the new tech prove its worth once all the hype moves on to the next big thing?
AI shows plenty of promise, since it's a tool that's already out in the world and offers plenty of clear benefits to users who can figure out which AI prompts will turn out the best results from text AI generators like ChatGPT and Bard.
Still, many huge roadblocks have yet to be cleared, and we'll likely only find out if AI can go the distance once we've seen another new iteration or ten.