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Still waiting for Bing Chat access? Make sure you do these 4 things

Microsoft says its AI chatbot is 'more powerful than ChatGPT.' Here is how you can try it out for yourself.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor and  Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: NurPhoto/Getty Images

In early February, Microsoft unveiled the new Bing with a chat feature powered by a next-generation version of OpenAI's large language model in the GPT-3 and -3.5 series, making it "more powerful than ChatGPT," according to Microsoft. Since the launch, millions of people have already flooded the waitlist.

Also: How does ChatGPT work?

Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft corporate vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, says "multiple millions," have already joined the waitlist -- up from just over a million two days after launch. This interest is due to ChatGPT's immense popularity, making it one fastest growing apps of all time, because of its ability to code, write, chat and so much more. 

"Demand is high with multiple millions now on the waitlist. So we ask for a little patience if you just joined the waitlist," Mehdi tweeted. He said Microsoft is "slowly scaling people off the waitlist" but assured fans it will make good on its promise to "scale to millions of people beginning in the coming weeks."  

How to get early access to the new Bing

Bing's chatbot is currently in a limited preview while Microsoft tests it with the public, but there is a waitlist you can join for early access. We have some tips to boost your chances of making it off the list below. 

1. Go to the Bing homepage

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

You'll notice options to "try it" and "learn more" on the homepage.

Also: The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other fun alternatives to try

If you click the "try it" button, you will be able to go through some practice demos and get a glimpse of what the hype is all about. 

2. Join the waitlist

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Hitting the "learn more" button will be bring you to a page where you can join the waitlist. Here you can click the "Join the waitlist" button to secure your spot. 

3. Sign into your personal Microsoft account

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

After clicking the "Join the Waitlist" button, you will be asked to sign into your Microsoft account. If you don't have a Microsoft account, all you have to do is create a new one and it will still work. It is also worth noting that you can't join the waitlist with a professional email or one associated with an organization you belong to. For example, I wasn't able to use a ZDNET email, but rather, had to make a new personal Microsoft account. 

3. Boost your chances with the Bing App and Edge Browser

Access Bing faster screenshot
Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

To increase your chances of getting of the waitlist, install Edge, make it the default browser, and make Bing the default search engine. Also, install the Bing Mobile app. 

"We are prioritizing those with Bing and Edge as their default search engine & browser as well as the Bing Mobile app installed to optimize the initial experience. Over time we intend to bring it to all browsers," wrote Mehdi. 

After you completed all these steps, all you have left to do is wait. If you make it off the list, you will get an email updating you on your status. May the odds be in your favor!

Make sure to add your birthday onto your Microsoft profile

Microsoft add birthday to profile screenshot
Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Although this seems pretty random, it is a crucial step to ensure that you are able to get off the waitlist. 

Microsoft's VP of growth, Michael Schechter, tweeted, "If you've been stuck on the Bing waitlist for awhile (and have done the speedups), please check your Microsoft account profile to ensure your birthday is there - If we don't know your birthday, we can't approve you!"

To complete this step, all you have to do is visit your Microsoft account profile and make sure that the field labeled "Date of Birth", circled in picture, is filled in. 


What is Microsoft's Bing AI chatbot?

In early February, Microsoft unveiled a new AI-improved Bing, which runs on a next-generation OpenAI large language model customized specifically for search. Bing's chatbot combines ChatGPT's capabilities with access to the internet making it "more powerful than ChatGPT," according to Microsoft. 

Who can access Microsoft's new Bing with ChatGPT?

Bing's chatbot is currently in a limited preview while Microsoft tests it with the public, but there is a waitlist that you can join. According to a tweet from Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft corporate vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, there are "multiple millions" of people already on the waitlist. 

Mehdi didn't reveal how many people are in the limited preview, but he said Microsoft is currently testing the "new Bing" with people in 169 countries. While emphasizing the public's interest in the new Bing search capabilities, he said Microsoft is "seeing a lot of engagement with new features like Chat." 

Is Microsoft's new Bing with ChatGPT free?

Yes, there is no cost to use Microsoft's new Bing which includes the AI chatbot. However, getting access is the tricky part since there are millions of people on a waitlist and access is still limited. 

Is Microsoft's AI chatbot better than ChatGPT?

ZDNET has tested both Microsoft Bing's chatbot and Open AI's ChatGPT chatbot. The findings from testing Bing's version was that it solved major problems with ChatGPT including knowledge of current events via internet access and footnotes with links to sources the information was pulled from. 

How will releasing the new Bing affect Microsoft?

Microsoft's search engine is undergoing an unprecedented run in the spotlight after being overshadowed by Google Search for the past 14 years. Bing was launched in 2009, a decade after Google Search launched and has over the years been the one Microsoft product that investors love to hate

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said ChatGPT will "fundamentally change" all software, starting with what he said was the "largest category of all -- search". Microsoft claims the addition to Bing of its next-generation version of OpenAI's GPT will lead to the "largest jump in relevance in two decades." For this task, it developed the "Microsoft Prometheus," a proprietary model that meshes with OpenAI's models to generate more relevant results.  

If the buzz around ChatGPT does rub off on Bing as a search engine, Microsoft could see its user numbers meaningfully increase. ChatGPT gained 100 million users within just two months to become the fastest-growing app of all time.

According to Statista, Bing has 1.2 billion users. But Bing also only has about 4% of the world's search market, compared to Google's 92%, according to Statcounter GlobalStats. 

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