Bing gets a new look, new features and a new logo

17 Sep 2013

Microsoft trails a selection of new features for its lagging search engine, Bing

Microsoft has unveiled a significant revamp of Bing, giving the search engine a new logo, a new look and a smattering of new features.

The redesign is yet another attempt by Microsoft to get momentum behind its search engine. Bing has only a 5.4% share of the global desktop search engine market, according to the latest figures from NetMarketshare, despite years of heavy investment from Microsoft and integration into Windows 8. Google commands just over 70% of the world market.

One of Bing's forthcoming features is "pole position", a box that appears at the top of search results to provide quick answers to questions, such as "how tall was Winston Churchill", as seen here:

Bing

Other new features include "page zero" - an attempt to provide options for refining searches before the full results appear.

Microsoft is also combining personalised results from the user's social networks into results, so that if a user searches for, say, "Barcelona", they might see photos that Facebook friends have taken in that city. The feature could provide a point of differentiation from Google, which draws social results from its relatively little-used Google+ network.

The revamp sees Bing handed a new logo, with the angular design following the style of the recently redesigned logos for Windows and Office.

Microsoft says it will roll out the new Bing over the coming weeks, which suggests it will likely go live alongside Windows 8.1 on 18 October.

Whether all the features will make it into the UK version of Bing is another matter. As PC Pro's Jon Honeyball has noted in recent columns, even basic features such as filtering results by date are absent from the UK version of the search engine.

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