If this is what a Metrofied Bing looks like, more, please

If this is what a Metrofied Bing looks like, more, please

Summary: Microsoft has redesigned its Bing results page to make it less cluttered.

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As I've blogged before, just because I'm a professional Microsoft watcher by day, I am not required to use only Microsoft products. In fact, I use a number of non-Microsoft ones. My rule of thumb is use the best tool for the job.

A couple of months ago, I switched my default search engine in my Chrome browser to Bing. There have been a few times I've been dissatisified with the results of a query, but mostly I've found Bing search on my PC to be solid. (Bing local results on my Windows Phone are another not-so-good story, however.)

On May 2, I was pleasantly surprised to see a redesigned Bing results page pop up when I did my first search of the day. (click on the image above to see the latest look.)

Is the redesign an example of a design that's more Metro-fied (but not Metro-Style, which means something uses the WinRT programming interfaces -- just to keep things confusing interesting)? Maybe. Microsoft's definition of Metro is rather fluid (but not fast and fluid -- again, that's something else entirely).

Some claim that Microsoft's redesign makes Bing look more like Google. Others say the redesign makes Bing's results look less like Google's. As TechCrunch noted in a post about the new look from earlier today, there have been other Bing design tweaks, including making social (i.e. Facebook integration) more subtle; and the replacement of the tabbed header with a new and cleaner set of links.

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Michael Gillet noted that the Bing redesign has resulted in the disappearance of some features, like hover-over previews. In addition, from what some of my other Twitter pals are saying, it sounds like the new design is -- at least for now -- a U.S. only thing. I've asked Microsoft when it plans to roll out this new look and feel to other geographies.

In a May 2 post on the Bing Community blog, the Bing team said there are other changes beyond the UI. The new Bing results page should also bring faster load times and increased relevance, the team said.

Update: Here are a couple of answers from a Bing spokesperson about questions around this latest UI overhaul:

When will those outside the U.S. see the redesigned Bing results page? Today’s launch is US only. At this time, we have no additional plans to share.

Has Microsoft scrapped its plans to do an HTML5 version of the Bing UI? We’re always looking at how technology can benefit the search experience – HTML5 can offer some interesting opportunities that can scale across platforms and browsers without plugins but we’re cautious about doing things simply because we can.

I'm a fan of less clutter. I like the latest design. You?

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows, Social Enterprise

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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Talkback

23 comments
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  • Sorry, but I strongly dislike it.

    Trying to reduce clutter is a fine goal and all, but this example is terrible. I'm hoping the ugly look is a mistake due to some CSS error of some sort, but I've been seeing this version for weeks now, and it hasn't changed.

    The first thought that comes to mind is Google from 5 years ago (give or take a few years). There are several reasons why I've preferred Bing over Google and one of those reasons definitely wasn't because I liked the look of Google.

    I find it hard to even just use it for simple searches because it is such an eye sore, and I'm not exaggerating or being facetious, it actually hurts my eyes to look at the page (and the pure white background sure isn't helping either).

    To me it looks like a mobile version that for some reason is showing up in desktop browsers. Again hopefully this is all a mistake and will be corrected soon.

    What surprises me most is that Bing showed off a wonderful HTML5 version that was both beautiful and added a lot unique improvements. I don't understand why they haven't implemented that version, or why it is taking so long to do so either.

    The only "improvement" this new look could be said to have is the movement of the related searches to the other side, but even that isn't accurate as now they are cluttered with ads, making it more difficult to get to info you want, rather than digging through ads.

    With the loss of functionality, the ugly and painful look, and hell the loss of identity I don't see how this is an actual improvement at all. Again it seems like a mistake, and hopefully it's a mistake that can be corrected soon.
    BucksterMcgee
  • So they Ripped Off Google

    Looks almost exactly like a Google search results page.

    Fail MS, Fail....
    itguy10
  • You mean it looks less Google's web page

    So I can see Google copying Bing again in about 60 days from now.

    Fail itguy10, Fail.
    William Farrel
    • So you're admitting that

      All Microsoft can do, is copy the innovative companies? Being that even the name is stupid "Bing" or because it's not good. Yeah, one hell of a brain-fart that was. The really sad part is "Monkey-boy Ballmer" signed off on it.
      Jumpin Jack Flash
      • Sure, whatever, yup.

        LOL! :D
        William Farrel
    • Really?

      My Google search results page looks pretty much like MJF's screen shot.

      IOW: As usual, Microsoft copies the innovator.
      itguy10
      • Yawn.

        Zzzzz. Zzzzz. Zzzzz.

        What? Oh I'm sorry. I dozed off lisetneing to you. I'm sure you said something. Was it relevant? That was a silly question, of course it wasn't.....

        Zzzz. Zzzz. Zzzz.
        William Farrel
  • Bing

    Where did the homepage tiles go, Microsoft?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • umh...

    The idea is good, but they should metrofy more the UI, CENTER (please!) the whole layout (i've a 27 inch monitor, on the left is no good, too far from the eyes) and add absolutely a FILTER BY DATE option!
    I use google only for this option, even to search for new info about this on Bing.

    IMHO the menu on the left was a good solution, now is too simple, too limited. They should do something

    And they should improve non US searches.
    Bing in other countries is still far away from Google globalization.
    liunardo
  • If this is what a Metrofied Bing looks like, more, please

    It works for me although I would like a little more color to the page. They are still offering the bing reward points, glad that hasn't changed.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • 10 blue links

    Looks like, uh, "10 blue links"... something a certain CEO has been known to complain about. Maybe it's time to clean things at the top, speaking of #lessclutter...
    amitballs
  • tired of waiting HTML5 version outside US

    I'm not living in US (I'm in switzerland), and I'm waiting the "revolutionary HTML5 bing" for switzerland since too long. At least, google don't do "US only" changes. Maybe that's why google as so much marketshare in europe, afterall...
    Hey Microsoft, think about it!
    kridek@...
  • Less Clutter, Big Readability Improvement

    Still needs to fix the "ALL CAPS" in typography: "WEB, IMAGES, VIDEOS, MAPS, FINANCE, NEWS, MORE" to normal "Web, Images, Video, Maps, Finance, News"
    Poobalam
    • That part of "Bing" version 3.

      For Windows 9, and by then Bing will only work with IE 9, or newer.
      Jumpin Jack Flash
  • intersting...that you're just now seeing this.

    this is what I've been seeing when I search for something on bing using the metro browser. I've been seeing it for a couple of weeks now.
    blazing_smiley_face
  • Metro is a "design language" and has nothing to do with WinRT.

    There are almost 100K WP apps out there, most of which are metro and none of which are WinRT.
    Johnny Vegas
  • the 90s called....

    And they want their UI back
    mike2k
    • Done!

      I give you iOS and Android. There, the 90's have their UI back.

      That was easy.
      William Farrel
  • And in IE 10 (in Consumer Preview)

    The Metro "side" IE 10 in the Consumer Preview does not show the collection of ads. The desktop IE 10 on the other hand, shows results similar to the image in the post.

    Somehow I suspect the lack of the ads section in Metro IE10 won't last.

    --John
    John Baxter
  • Hover-over previews

    IMO the best Bing feature ever, and I'll miss them. About the only positive is that it seems to return results lightning fast, but I'd cheerfully trade the extra fraction of a second to get the previews back.
    1DaveN