On the 17th of September, Microsoft announced that they would be rolling out a range of new features for their search engine, Bing – some of these features will be cosmetic and some will be structural. Microsoft says that the purpose of these changes is to deliver information more quickly and in more helpful ways. They are trying to make Bing more than just a search engine.
The new Snapshot section will actually combine Bing’s old Snapshot bar with the Social Sidebar, resulting in a more prominent right column. The new Snapshot section is wider than the old one (it’s almost half the page width) and is shaded to separate it from the main results.
- Page Zero
This is the name given to deep links that provide shortcuts to common information objectives. Essentially, the idea is to enable the quick discovery of information. It can be operated from the homepage and from the search results equally.
- Pole Position
This is an answer that Bing will prominently display when it is confident in regards to the user’s intent. “When we know that someone wants images of a celebrity…we now provide a much larger answer beautifully integrated with the top of the page” Microsoft said.
The whole design of Bing has changed so that results will display slightly differently across all screens. “Our new layout…will adjust both to the size of the screen and the context of the user so we present the right experience at the right time” Microsoft said.
In a statement released by Microsoft, they said that all of these changes are part of the evolution of Bing and their way of further including them within the larger family of Microsoft products. They also announced that they would be rolling out these changes over the next few days, although it is uncertain whether they will be available to all users immediately.