We've already discussed how Windows 8.1 integrates Bing results into all your system searches, and it now turns out Microsoft plans to include Bing ads amongst the mix in its final release. Fortunately, it appears to be fairly easy to switch that off.
The plan was revealed in a blog post earlier this week. "Bing Ads will be an integral part of the new Windows 8.1 Smart Search experience," search network general manager David Pann wrote. "Now, with a single campaign setup, advertisers can connect with consumers across Bing, Yahoo! and the new Windows Search with highly relevant ads for their search queries."
As we pointed out in our original Windows 8.1 search guide, if you find the Bing results distracting or irrelevant (Australian results are fairly generic and limited), you can switch them off:
- Go to the Settings charm (swipe in from the right and choose out or use Windows-I)
- Choose 'Change PC settings' at the bottom of the screen
- Choose 'Search and Apps'
- Choose 'Off' under 'Use Bing to search online'.
We won't know for sure if that option continues to work in the final release or if it will eliminate ads completely, but given that Microsoft will want to offer search restrictions as a security feature for corporate installs, it seems a likely bet.
Microsoft Advertising Discusses a New Search Ad Experience in Windows 8.1 [Microsoft Advertising Blog via Business Insider]