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Microsoft Brings Voice Chat to Bing Chat on Desktop

Posted June 10, 2023 | AI | Artificial Intelligence | Bing + MSN | Bing Chatbot | Windows

With Cortana put out to pasture, Microsoft this week added voice chat capabilities to the Bing chatbot in the desktop version of Edge. Or at least that’s what I think they’ve announced: Microsoft refers to this new feature as “Voice chat on desktop,” and it isn’t clear from the description it provides what that even means.

“We know many of you love using voice input for chat on mobile,” a post credited to the Bing team notes. “It’s now also available on desktop by clicking on the microphone icon in the Bing Chat box. We currently support English, Japanese, French, German, and Mandarin, with more languages on the way. Try asking Bing Chat, “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

The microphone icon in the Bing Chat box? Where is that? There’s no Bing app for Windows. There’s no microphone icon in the Search box in Windows 11. And there’s no microphone icon in Windows 11 Search (WINKEY + Q) either. But the animation that Microsoft provides in its blog post matches what I see in the Microsoft Edge web browser when I navigate to Bing Chat. So I assume that’s what Microsoft means. And if so, this is not “on desktop,” it’s on the web and accessed via a particular desktop web browser thanks to Microsoft blocking other browsers.

Maybe I’m being too pedantic. But in addition to now supporting this patently obvious feature, Bing Chat also supports text-to-speech answers too, meaning that it will respond to your questions in its own voice. Microsoft recommends using voice input to ask Bing Chat, “What’s the toughest tongue twister you know?” I would rather ask Microsoft why it can’t communicate clearly.

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