RealTime IT News

Microsoft's Bing Meets Hotmail

Microsoft has released a new feature in its Hotmail e-mail software lets users perform searches from their inboxes using the company's new Bing search engine. In addition, search results are easy to import into messages.

The new feature, called "quick add," enables Bing's search capabilities to be added into the e-mail client, making it possible for users to perform searches from a pane on the right hand side of the message composition screen.

Then, as in the case of a map, for instance, the user can import the search results directly into the message.

"With Hotmail’s quick add feature, now enhanced with Bing, you can easily search, find, and insert content from the web straight into your e-mail messages. With just one click you can add restaurant reviews, movie times, images, videos, maps and more," said a post on the Windows Live team blog Thursday.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) released an integrated search feature for its GMail e-mail service back in May. The Gmail search feature is part of a long list of optional "Labs" features that users have to proactively enable.

The move aims to help Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) win over Hotmail users to Bing, which CEO Steve Ballmer launched early last month.

Microsoft bought Hotmail in 1998, first renaming it MSN Hotmail, before rebranding it as Live Hotmail when it began to consolidate many of its online offerings under the Windows Live banner.

The company's search initiative has also suffered various rebranding attempts over the years, including MSN Search and Live Search and, finally, Bing.

Now, with the combination of Bing and Microsoft's e-mail client using quick add, the company hopes that Hotmail users will hear a cheerful binging sound the next time they crank up their e-mail.