After some rumors have been flying around lately, Microsoft has taken the step of clarifying that it doesn't intend to charge everyday users for its Bing AI (although there may be other ways to monetize it yet, of course - we'll return to that subject).
As Windows Latest reports, the concern that consumers might eventually be charged for using the Bing chatbot was prompted by the release of the enterprise edition of Bing AI - which Microsoft does ask money for.
This won't be the case, as you might imagine, for consumers, with a Microsoft engineer telling Windows Latest:
"Bing AI will remain free via Bing.com, Microsoft Edge side panel, Windows Copilot and other places."
In short, everyday consumers don't have to worry about a future world in which Bing AI demands a subscription fee, or some other way of extracting money from users.
What's likely, though, is that Microsoft will be aiming to extract your time instead. As we've already heard that the software giant is exploring the idea of placing adverts within Bing chats, and one way or another, we can see this happening.
Of late, Microsoft has been on a drive to position ads in Windows 11 - albeit only in a limited way when it comes to the release version of the OS, but they're still there (and present in other forms in preview versions).
That said, this isn't likely something we'll see for some time yet. Microsoft is busy trying to establish the Bing chatbot as the dominant AI against rival Google Bard, with the latter making progress more quickly in recent times (with new features arriving aplenty).
So, we don't think Microsoft would risk employing ads in its Bing AI just yet, but if the chatbot starts to become more and more popular, we feel it's unlikely that advertising opportunities won't be explored.