With Windows 8.1, Microsoft made a significant change to the way users search: it unified the experience to include web, cloud, app and system results. Now, the company's putting something else into Smart Search: Bing Ads. It's okay if this strikes you as a bit troubling -- most users are accustomed to seeing ads display within browser-based search, not OS-driven queries. But that's the new face of Win 8.1, like it or not. So the next time you use that convenient all-in-one search sidebar, expect to see sponsored results like the one above appropriately highlighted and packed with site previews, links, addresses and phone numbers. Basically, it's no different than what you're getting from a regular Bing search, only now it's baked into your live-tiled OS. You can thank Microsoft in the comments below.
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