The Bing Team just announced that the latest version of the search engine is now available for every single Bing user in the United States. Microsoft had announced a couple of weeks ago that Bing would be getting an update, promising to deliver it to the entire U.S. "in due time". For once, a company has actually made a promise and made good on it. Is this the dawn of a new era of company trust and customer loyalty? Probably not, but it's still nice.
The new face of Bing is definitely a noticeable difference from the old look. Users will now find a three-column layout. The left column includes search results, the center column (known as "Snapshot" by Microsoft) is designed to give users relevant information and services that are related to web results and the right column (or "Sidebar") adds some social features like an activity feed for Facebook updates and the ability to ask your friends questions.
According to a blog post that Microsoft released last month detailing the changes, "Whether it's making a purchase, deciding on a vacation destination, choosing a great restaurant, or figuring out which movie to see this weekend, the new Bing focuses on bringing friends, experts and enthusiasts into your search experience through a dedicated social 'sidebar'."
Reports are coming in from people who have already started using the new layout and the response was generally positive. Many people are praising the responsiveness of the the new Bing, though there are some disappointments with the lack of content offered. According to Rafe Needleman of CNET, "I expect that as this socially enabled version of Bing matures, Microsoft (and Facebook) will figure out a way to layer in more and better content. But I expect a more useful offering for a major update to social search from a partnership between tech giants Microsoft and Facebook."
If you are an avid Bing user then head on over to the search engine right now and take the new layout for a spin. Then come back here and tell us what you think. Do you like the new three-column structure? Are the social features cool or pointless? Do you believe that there is a general lack of content? We want to know everything you think about the new and improved Bing so let us know!
Source: CNET - New-look Bing hits U.S., but will it satisfy?