Microsoft's spring fling: A new Bing refresh is coming

Microsoft's spring fling: A new Bing refresh is coming

Summary: Microsoft is starting its rollout of its spring Bing refresh on March 25, which will include a number of user interface changes to the company's search engine. About five percent of U.S. customers, as of today, will see the Spring refresh changes, with the rest of the U.S. seeing them in the coming weeks as part of a gradual rollout.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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Microsoft is starting its rollout of its spring Bing refresh on March 25, which will include a number of user interface changes to the company's search engine.

About five percent of U.S. customers, as of today, will see the Spring refresh changes, with the rest of the U.S. seeing them in the coming weeks as part of a gradual rollout. These changes may or may not come to international Bing users, Microsoft officials said, as the company maintains different, localized versions of Bing across the world.

The most obvious changes in the Bing spring refresh are happening at the user interface level. (The spring Bing UI/UX is codenamed "Oslo"; the fall refresh was codenamed "Dublin.")

Among the changes in the coming release will be a new "Bing box," which provides a number of aggregated results -- including some real-time results-- in a single pane. A query on "Lady Gaga," for example, will result in a box that includes a link to her official site, a list of upcoming tour dates, a photo and her latest tweet. (Check out  these screen shots of the new Bing user interface to see more.)

The new refresh also will add "Quick Tabs" to the top of a number of popular query results, making it easier for users to find news, images, video and other commonly searched-for information. Microsoft also is tweaking the left-rail results, replacing the current "quick query" ones with (official hope) more relevant and clickable ones that will help users define their queries.

Microsoft also is adding what it is callign Domain Task Pages to Bing, starting with today's refresh. The first of these pages is "Autos," where users' most often-queried terms will result in pages that surface information in a way that makes it easier to find in a single place. All U.S. customers will see the new Autos DTP starting today. Microsoft also is adding a new "Comparison Answers" capability to the Bing engine, with sports being the first category for which this capability will be available. Microsoft is starting the rollout of Comparison Answers for Sports today, with five percent of Bing users seeing it, as of March 25.

Microsoft also will be releasing Autosuggest improvements for all Bing mobile users, providing quicker results for queries on stock quotes and other commonly searched information, Microsoft officials said.

Topic: Microsoft

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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15 comments
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  • Until there is a date range...

    option under Advanced Search, Bing is worthless. I would like to use it. I really like the pop outs when hovering over results but if I can't specify the date range like I can on Google...

    I really don't understand why they don't implement this.
    LandonAB
  • RE: Microsoft's spring fling: A new Bing refresh is coming

    Not too much of a drastic change which is good. Do you know if they are going to improve the UI with Bing Shopping as well?
    Loverock Davidson
    • shopping

      Hi. They didn't offer specifics, but they told me they'd be "making improvements" in their four main verticals -- travel, shopping, health and local -- with the spring release. Other than the domain task page for autos... not sure what they are adding/tweaking. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • Bing Web

    What's intersting is that they have "web" under the bing logo. I wonder if bing will be used as search in other areas other than the web. Possibly for Windows or Homeserver? Integrated for Office/Outlook? Hmmmm.
    jznoy-dallas
  • RE: Microsoft's spring fling: A new Bing refresh is coming

    Aaaarrgh, in Europe still no Bing rollout.
    Just some beta bing which is little more than crappy Live search in Bing gui. It has got a left navigation menu but that naviagtion menu has no usefull item in it to navigate to.

    Pathetic. Almost a year since the introduction of Bing in the and they are unable to roll it out world wide.
    IE11
  • What About global Version

    I mean its still in beta in non-US locations and
    its relevance is really pathetic. They must think
    about the time for this update.
    ArnavM
    • international

      Hi. I asked about an international rollout for these features and they were non-commital. THey said it is up to each geography when/how/if they want to add new features and tweaks. They had no information on when or if the UX changes or any of the other changes announced today would reach other markets beyond the U.S. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • Bing is not international

        You talk about these new features for internationalization.
        However in the rest of the world we are stil waiting for the features that Micrsoft added to Bing in june 2009.

        Bing is in most parts of the world just an empty shell around the live search engine.
        No features and terrible search results.

        When using Bing i use the US version as the localized verions in Europe does not give usefull results and emtpy navigation panes. If they do not upgrade the localized versiosn qucikly they might as well drop the localized versions altogether and supply everybody with the US engined version
        IE11
        • Same situation here in New Zealand (nt)

          Same situation here in New Zealand (nt)
          Jaips
      • The China version of bing...

        Has a bing box devoted to images of kittens and rainbows every time you
        search for human rights.
        paulaaa2
  • RE: Microsoft's spring fling: A new Bing refresh is coming

    Every time Microsoft revamps it's search site, it looks more and more like Google. How many times has Microsoft changed the names of it's search site? Bing, formerly Live Search, formerly Windows Live Search, formerly MSN Search. Why not call it Google want-a-be?
    chessmen
    • @ Troll

      Thanks for your valuable and constructive comment. So for Bing to not copy Google in your eyes, what do they have to do? Get rid of the logo and search bar on their page?

      If you ask me, Google Chrome is obviously just copying straight from Internet Explorer. Just look at how it has a URL navigation bar and back/forward buttons. Just like IE!!!
      fatherjones
    • Want-to-be was allready taken

      did you not use that as your name somewhere else here?
      GuidingLight
  • RE: Microsoft's spring fling: A new Bing refresh is coming

    Wow does MS have a knack for looking like dorks: Spring
    Bing Fling?" LOL.
    Monkeypox
  • RE: Microsoft's spring fling: A new Bing refresh is coming

    Just recently, all search requests off of the search bar in IE result a Bing Home Page, causing me to re-enter what I want to search, and then the results are listed.

    This is becoming very anti-productive, and going to send me back to Google or Yahoo search.
    Pferox69