In an effort to create more synergy between its products, Microsoft’s search platform Bing has announced that Office 365 Premium is now available to users. The five apps included in the add-on for the newly launched Office 365 and Office 2013 make it easier for users to insert information and images directly from Bing searches into their documents. They are: Bing Finance for Excel, Bing Maps for Excel, Bing Image Search for Word, Bing News Search for Word, and Bing Dictionary for Excel and Word.
The company says its “goal is to make Bing available in convenient and intuitive ways that take advantage of knowledge Bing has assembled for search.” Features include voice search on Bing for Mobile, implicit search such as Local Scout on Windows Phone, the ability to search using smartphone cameras with Bing Vision, and touch/contextual search with Bing on Window 8.
Earlier this week, Microsoft premiered Office 365 Home Premium, a subscription-based service that includes support for up to five devices, Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note, additional online storage in Sky Drive and 60 free minutes to use on Skype each month.
Features designed to keep users within Office 365 and Bing include Bings Maps for Office, a data visualization tool for Excel that uses Bing maps to plot data from Excel spreadsheets. Bing Finance (Beta) for Office allows users to build a financial portfolio table in Excel that integrates data from Bing Finance. Bing News Search for Office allows users to search for news and related videos from within a Word document. Bing search results than can be inserted into the document by clicking on an insert plus icon. Frequent searches can also be added to a favorites list.
Bing Dictionary (English) for Office is integrated with Microsoft Word and provides definitions and spellings for words by Bing Dictionary. Users can enter a word based on how it sounds and Bing will suggest letters, words or phrases. Bing Image Search for Office allows users to search from images on the Web using Bing Image Search from Word and insert pics into their document.