Microsoft is starting to roll out its spring refresh of its Bing search engine in the U.S., starting on March 25. Most of the changes in this round are in the user interface. One of the biggest changes that users will see as the new refresh populates Microsoft's servers in the coming weeks is the addition of a "Bing Box," which will include a number of popular results aggregated in a central place. Check out the Lady Gaga Bing Box on the new search page.
Another change to the new Bing UI is the addition of "Quick Tabs" along the top of certain popular query pages. A "John Legend" query will return news, videos and other information in tab form along the top. Microsoft also is changing the results in the left rail to make them more relevant and likely to reflect users' intent.
Here's what the same "John Legend" query returns in Bing today, for comparison.
With the new Bing refresh, Microsoft is aggregating results for some of its main verticals, like travel, weather (local), shopping and health, into a single search result to provide users with more immediate information on their queries. With this "Miami Beach" query, for example, Microsoft groups together some of the most commonly searched for information -- like airfares, weather, etc. -- in a single result, which Microsoft calls an "instant answer."
Here's what the same "Miami Beach" query returns today when you Bing it.
As part of the new Spring refresh, Microsoft also is changing the results it provides in the left and right rails to help users find the information and/or accomplish the tasks they intended to do via their original query more quickly.
Microsoft is creating what it's calling "domain task pages" for a number of its most popular queries. Autos is its first. On these pages, users' most searched-for information will be surfaced prominently.