Microsoft brings visual search to Windows search bar

The feature lets users take a full or partial screenshot to be processed by Bing Visual Search.

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Windows users can now initiate Bing visual searches right from the search bar, without having to open up a browser, Microsoft announced on Monday. The feature is first rolling out to U.S. users, with international markets to follow shortly after. Users can submit a full or partial screenshot to search for objects in an image.

Windows Visual Search
Source: Microsoft.

Why we care

The new Windows visual search feature decreases the friction involved with a traditional visual search, making it more fluid for Windows users to identify whatever they’re looking at. This could be a useful tool for shoppers looking to find similar products.

Since the search is powered by Bing, it may also increase adoption and search volume of Bing visual and traditional search. 

More on the announcement

  • The feature can recognize landmarks, flowers, celebrities, animals, text within images and can be used to find similar products.
  • Visual search from the Windows search bar is only available for users with the Windows 10 May 2019 Update or newer.
  • The company has also released an API for developers to incorporate visual search within their own products.
  • In 2017, Bing added camera-based searches and made visual search features available in Microsoft Edge, the Windows Photos App and the Bing app on Android.

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About the author

George Nguyen
George Nguyen is the Director of SEO Editorial at Wix, where he manages the Wix SEO Learning Hub. His career is focused on disseminating best practices and reducing misinformation in search. George formerly served as an editor for Search Engine Land, covering organic and paid search.

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