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Microsoft's Bing search engine is hoping it can gain more ground on Google with a little more help from Facebook and its other Internet friends.

As part of an extensive upgrade announced Wednesday, Bing will feature more recommendations and other information from people's social circles on Facebook to help distinguish its results from Google's.

Facebook started to give Bing greater access to the 500 million people belonging to its network in October. Google Inc. still isn't able to compile the same volume of Facebook information in its search index. Microsoft Corp. owns a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook.

Bing also has teamed up with several other Internet companies to make it easier for its users to buy tickets to an event or make restaurant reservations on the results page.

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