“Starting today you will notice a fresh, de-cluttered experience designed to help you find the results you want faster,” announced Principal Group Program Manager Sally Salas on the Bing.com blog.
Bing stripped the gray-blue gradient, orange links, left sidebar, and the convolute of text and imagery from its website to reveal a simple, white background adorned with crisp, blue text.
“Over the past few months, we’ve run dozens of experiments to determine how you read our pages to deliver the link you’re looking for. Based on that feedback, we’ve tuned the site to make the entire page easier to scan, removing unnecessary distractions, and making the overall experience more predictable and useful,” Salas explained.
The obvious rip-off appears hypocritical, though, especially because the company often takes shots at Google for stealing its ideas. Microsoft Europe’s communication team used Twitter in 2010 to poke fun of Google’s ability to implement background images, which is popular feature that characterized Bing since it launched in 2009.
We've lost a background image, if found please return to bing.com ;)— Microsoft Europe (@MSEurope) June 10, 2010
More recently, reports swirled in the blogosphere about Microsoft supposedly trying to unload Bing to Facebook last year, and rumors now claim Facebook is developing its own search engine. Of course, Facebook is in direct competition with Google’s social network Google+.
Whether these occurrences are true or not, it is certainly interesting that the folks in Redmond, who notoriously often lead Google smear campaigns, are now mimicking their greatest foe in attempt to encourage user growth while streamlining the service’s appearance.