Bing is slowly rolling out its new version to certain users. I have been “chosen” as one of the users to get a new update. But the interesting this is that I seemed to have received two different updates of bing in my two separate PCs. On the first PC, the update brings about new animations to the search engine. In addition to the animated wallpaper in the bing homepage, this new update gives smooth transition when you enter in a search query or switch from one type of search to another (for example web to images). Now, I cannot take a picture of the animation update, but I can show you the new update I got in my other PC.
My second PC received an UI update. The new update reduces color and has a “metro” feel to it. This UI seems to be part of Microsoft’s attempt to make the UI across its products consistent. Windows 8, Windows Phone, and the Xbox dashboard all feature the metro style UI. Take a look at the screenshot below; click it to enlarge.
As we can see, the new bing takes the attention off itself, as per the metro UI principles. The space is mostly white, and the content shine. You may also notice that some search results are social driven, showing what my friends like on Facebook. Of course, I can always disconnect Facebook from bing if I don’t like social integration with search.
There are, however, some UI headaches that I face with this new user interface. For example, on the old bing UI, it was easy to get to other types of search such as News. With the new bing UI, these other types do not always appear on the top. Perhaps they do not appear if they don’t have any content for that type; I am not sure. But it bothers me because it is difficult to deal with UI that isn’t consistent in every search. One would expect the top to always have the same links for easy access, but with the new UI, this is dynamic, and can be unpredictable.
For me, I only get the new UI for web search. If I do an image search or a new search, I am returned to the old bing. So, it is still under development; so, thing can very well be tweaked. I am curious to know if any of you reading this have gotten this new bing. Better yet, did you get another bing update that I didn’t get? Share your comments; I look forward to them. :)