Microsoft's new Bing Wallpaper application is now available

Microsoft released a new application for Windows devices this week called Bing Wallpaper. Windows users may install the application to automatically download Bing wallpapers and have them set as the system's background image.

The application has not been released as a Microsoft Store app but as a desktop program. Users should not confuse it with the open source program Bing Wallpaper which Mike reviewed in 2017 here on BetaNews.

Microsoft's Bing Wallpaper application needs to be installed. The download page does not list compatibility information; I ran a test on a Windows 10 system and it installed fine. It is likely that Bing Wallpaper will also install on systems running older versions of Windows.

Beware: Pay attention to the setup options. Bing Wallpaper will make Bing the default search engine and homepage in Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome otherwise. Uncheck the two options "Set Bing as my homepage" and "Set Bing as my default search provider" before you hit the install button in the interface.

The program runs in the background after installation and will download the first wallpaper from Bing right away (it needs Internet connectivity for that obviously).

The wallpaper has a rather large Bing watermark stamped on it. A right-click on the system tray icon displays the application menu. You may use it to switch to a different wallpaper (yesterday's for instance) and quit the application.

The wallpaper remains set even if you quit the program. The software lacks customization options that many third-party wallpaper applications offer. There is no option to change the interval, use different sources, make it a scheduled task so that it is run only when a new wallpaper is downloaded and set (opposed to all the time), or save wallpapers to a different location.

Bing Wallpaper is added as a startup item so that it autostarts with Windows. The program uses less than 8MB while it is running in the background which is acceptable but not the lowest that I have seen for programs that change backgrounds on the desktop.

Bing Search supports downloading wallpaper images directly as well, and the manual method may be an option for users, especially since it means not running another program in the background all the time.

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