Bing Lets Users Edit Code Samples In Search Results

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Microsoft’s search engine now displays editable code snippets for common programming problems directly in results

Microsoft has begun offering snippets of programming code directly within the results of its Bing search engine, in a move intended to help it draw developer interest.

The code results, offered in partnership with developer site HackerRank, not only appear directly in Bing’s search results, saving users from having to open individual pages, but can also be edited within the results list using a tool that runs in the browser, Microsoft said.

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The feature is aimed at developers searching for a useful bit of code to solve a particular problem, or for programmers learning a new language who need to be able to easily access and edit bits of sample code, HackerRank said.

Such a process typically requires users to first enter a search query, then read through the resulting pages for the code needed, and finally transfer the code to an editor on the desktop.

“Now, you have a streamlined alternative that will not only spit out the code solution you need but also edit the code and play with it in real-time,” HackerRank co-founder Vivek Ravisankar said in a blog post. “This will save you endless time you used to spend going back and forth from search to your code editor.”

He said several dozen snippets for the most common coding questions currently feature in Bing, giving as an example string concatenation in the C# language.

Beginner to advanced programmers

Microsoft said it is aiming the feature at both those learning coding languages and at advanced programmers.

“In addition to learning how a certain algorithm/code is written in a given language, users will also be able to check how the same solution is constructed in a range of other programming languages too, providing a Rosetta-stone model for programming languages,” said Marcelo De Barros, group engineering manager for the UX features and shared tools at Bing, in a statement.

Microsoft is constantly looking for new search features to draw users away from rival Google.

Bing, the company’s current search effort, launched in 2009 and overtook Yahoo in popularity three years later.

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