Microsoft has released a new version of the Bing toolbar with a Facebook button.It’s the latest example of the growing alliance between the companies, which was sparked by Microsoft’s 2007 investment and has lately let Bing incorporate Facebook social messaging data — a feature that Google lacks.
Like its predecessors, the new Bing Bar contains a search box that defaults to Bing as well as links to other Microsoft online services like Hotmail. But the big addition is the Facebook button, which lets users view their news feeds, photos, and other data from Facebook without visiting the site.
The Bing Bar is also one of the methods Microsoft uses to track users around the Web — including at Google — to help improve Bing search results. (Users can opt out of the tracking.) Google recently made a big deal out of the fact, claiming that Bing was copying Google search results for some “long tail” or rare search queries.