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Web N-gram Services – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I do not have an affiliation with a university. Can I use the Web N-gram service?

A: The service, which is currently in public beta, can be used by anyone; you do not need to be affiliated with a university. However, to use the service, you must agree to the Terms of Use for the Web N-gram services.

Q: May I use the service for commercial purposes?

A: No. As per the Web N-gram Terms of Use, the Web N-gram services may be used only for non-commercial purposes.

Q: Can I get Web N-grams for a different data set than Bing data?

A: At this time, the Web N-gram services build models only for the documents indexed by Bing.

Q: How is the Web N-gram offering different from other competitive offerings?

A: Previous efforts that delivered N-grams to the research community adopted a data release approach, which involved a "cut-off" on the data delivered that potentially falsified the statistical properties of the data set; in contrast, this latest effort adopts a service-based approach with no cut-off on the data. Moreover, previous efforts focused on just one type of content type and model type as opposed to the richer types Microsoft introduces to engage researchers in new innovations. Finally, by providing regular data refresh, Microsoft is opening up new research directions in fields where lack of data has locked academic researchers into repeated analysis/research over static and stale data sets.