Microsoft shows off Bing Food & Drink and new Search interface

Microsoft has debuted Bing Food & Drink alongside a new Search interface in Windows 8.1 at its Build conference on Wednesday.

Bing Food & Drink is similar to a recipe app, but it provides tools for planning meals, creating shopping lists and calculating amounts. There's also a hands-free mode that enables the webcam and allows users to swipe through recipes without touching the screen. 

That's not it for new Bing features: the entire Search experience has been revamped in Windows 8.1, and it's powered by Bing.

The Windows 8 platform is less than a year old, but Microsoft is already is prepping a major update with Windows 8.1. And the overhauled Search charm in Windows 8.1 essentially now does everything. It searches the web, local drive, apps and everything else.

Microsoft has leapt forward with desktop search, implementing functionality like the ability to type on the Start Screen to search web queries, recent queries, files and more. 

Bing Heroes is an ideal example of the major changes to search. It's a new Bing-powered interface, where users can search for things like Rihanna or Paul McCartney and enter full-screen to view media and audio content.

Microsoft said audio would launch in Xbox Music, but the interface will search YouTube for relevant videos. The new interface also presents information from apps and web links, with a thumbnail preview of websites. 

As for News, that's served up with facts from Wikipedia. There are even capabilities for filtering, expanding and viewing images separately. Moreover, if users search for a location in Microsoft's new Search experience, they will discover pictures and web results for that location.