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Bing Bar update brings slick Facebook integration, inbox alerts for Hotmail and Gmail

While the sight of a browser toolbar makes many cringe, the new Bing Bar actually packs some pretty cool features. For starters, the Facebook button provides handy drop-down access to your wall, notifications, inbox, and a slick photo widget. The email alerter handles Gmail and Yahoo! Mail in addition to Hotmail accounts, and you can click the icon for a heads-up display of your inbox.

Other widgets provide bite-sized portions of news, weather, and stock market info, Bing Maps, movie showtimes and information, and Bing Rewards deals. A translation app is also offered, though you need to add it to the toolbar manually.

We're wondering if Google's Matt Cutts has downloaded the new Bing Bar yet to search for hiybbprqag ...

Tags: Bing, Bing Bar, BingBar, Browser, Browsers, Microsoft, Search, Tollbars, Toolbar, Web