Fresh off the heels of the “One Microsoft” announcement in early July, Bing is beginning to quickly integrate many of the One Microsoft principles by providing users with (you guessed it) a more integrated search experience – starting first with a cosmetic change: the Bing logo. Representative of the greater integration across Microsoft products, divisions, and BGs, the new Bing logo will be a continual reminder of Microsoft’s goal of providing users with a consistent and rich user experience across device types.
Functionally speaking, Bing has begun to roll out a bevy of new search features that, admittedly, are pretty slick. Designed to provide the user with immediate and actionable information, Bing can provide users with answers before they even finish asking the question – and also tell them what their friends think about it, too.
A new Bing feature (and my personal favorite) is called “Page Zero.” Related to but unique from Google’s use of snippets, Page Zero essentially provides deep links to common queries. Page Zero is powerful (and perhaps threatening) in the fact that it provides actionable information before the user hits the SERP.
Keeping with the theme of immediate, objective information, Pole Position is another avenue in which Bing can provide quick answers to straight forward questions (think weather, facts, and images.) Pole Position is unique in that it provides answers in a fairly fancy, large layout on top of the SERP – making answers obvious and easily digestible.
Think Google’s Knowledge Graph – the revamped Bing will now push social data below the fold, allowing the Snapshot (center column) to be wider and more prominent – the sidebar, again, used to capture basic data.
What really brings these new features together into a more integrated search experience is the ability of Bing to better adapt to device type:
“Our new layout is built from the ground up to work across devices and 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. Results should look as beautiful on a Surface or iPad as they do on a PC or phone. Our new platform will enable us to improve experiences across an ever growing range of devices, like mobile . . . Part of this focus on mobile and tablet devices means integrating touch into our experiences and we’ve introduced a number of capabilities to allow for more rapid refinements in the future.”
Whether searching from a tablet or smartphone, Bing will now intelligently render results and content to users that are more touch and share friendly.
With a myriad of new features, Bing is aiming to give itself a new identity by providing accurate, easily digestible content that is easy to share and for the user to absorb (regardless of what device the user is on.) The integration of digital content on Bing is directly in line with One Microsoft principles as Microsoft aims to redefine its identity across its main product lines.