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February 17, 2011

Bing Browser New Toolbar Gets Integrated To Facebook

Microsoft’s Bing browser now has Facebook functionality built into the toolbar, now available for free download here.

While the sight of a browser toolbar makes many cringe, the new Bing Bar actually packs some pretty cool features. For starters, the Facebook button provides handy drop-down access to your wall, notifications, inbox, and a slick photo widget. The email alerter handles Gmail and Yahoo! Mail in addition to Hotmail accounts, and you can click the icon for a heads-up display of your inbox.

Other widgets provide bite-sized portions of news, weather, and stock market info, Bing Maps, movie showtimes and information, and Bing Rewards deals.

The gist of the Facebook embedding inlcudes prominent iconography in the toolbar, plus notifications from the social network that pop up even when you’re not on the site. And you can check your mail, which might become handier as the new messaging platform becomes more entrenched among users

PC Mag in its review feels Bing's  Browser has a log of  Positives, including the new toolbar gives one-button access to News, Maps, e-mail, and Facebook, along with offering a separate search box. A big part of the design is meant to expose Bing capabilities that users may not know about—Web-based gaming, stock quotes, and movie showtimes, among them. The Bing Bar also works with the search provider's rewards program, whereby users can earn points towards purchases by using Bing search, the toolbar, and allowing Microsoft to collect anonymous data on your search behavior.

The new Bing Bar is only available for Internet Explorer 7 and later. To read more about the new Bing Bar, see Microsoft's blog post on the Bing Search blog (requires Windows Live ID). To install it for yourself, visit the Bing Toolbar download page.