Bing it on: can third-party apps and voice control push Google out of Windows?

Windows 8.1’s Smart Search functionality debuted last month, merging web results and traditional file search into a full-screen search experience across PCs and tablets. While Microsoft has created a number of visually engaging “hero” pages for certain queries — combining music, video, and information — the software company has much more ambitious goals for the future of Windows search: integrating apps and adding voice controls.

While hero pages were a first step for launch, Microsoft says they’re just one component of many features that will help shape the search experience in Windows — designed to rival Google’s web dominance. Microsoft has around 1,000 employees dedicated to its Smart Search feature in Windows 8.1, and…

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