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Microsoft's Yahoo Answers rival quietly opens for testing

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We've all stared, wide-eyed, at the people on Yahoo Answers who want to know how to become a real mermaid or why their cat vibrates. It appears that Microsoft has too, but it's philosophy is not to join its one-time friend, but to beat it with a homegrown rival. Bing Distill is a question and answer website where "millions ask" and, perhaps unsurprisingly, "you answer."

Delving into the site's community guidelines, Microsoft is expecting questions that range from "Why is the sky blue?" through to "How to turn off Outlook 2013 reminders." Some of the answers will be provided by the company's employees, with the community pitching in when someone wants to know if you can lose weight just by rubbing your stomach.

According to Neowin, the platform will be baked into Bing to help the search engine answer specific questions that it, as yet, cannot understand on its own. Microsoft hasn't yet publicly acknowledged Distill's existence and users are currently being added on an invite-only basis. Naturally, we've already put our name on the waiting list and will let you know the first time we see the question "Do you think NASA invented thunderstorms to cover up the sound of space battles?"

Engadget’s parent company, Verizon, now owns Yahoo. Engadget remains editorially independent.

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