Earlier this month, Microsoft’s search engine Bing unveiled a new style that looks strikingly like Google’s homepage user-interface, but today the Redmond, Wash.-based Company branched from the design and announced a host of new features.
The redesign is still very Google-esque, but the notable aspect to this change is that Microsoft is continuing to make jabs at its primary competitor all the while conducting an obvious rip-off. The Windows-maker even detailed to users in a Bing blog post that its search relevance and quality surpassed Google’s when all signs of branding were removed from the search engines’ homepages:
From the outset, we knew that serving relevant results that were equal to or better than the other guy was table stakes. To track our progress, we conducted tests that removed any trace of Google and Bing branding. When we did this study in January of last year 34% people preferred Bing, while 38% preferred Google. The same unbranded study now shows that Bing Search results now have a much wider lead over Google’s. When shown unbranded search results 43% prefer Bing results while only 28% prefer Google results. What this means is that in 3 years we’ve made some real progress in core relevance and search quality, and while search is becoming so much more than just web results, having a rock solid foundation is important for the future of Bing and search more generally.
Screenshots are available below.
Bing stripped the gray-blue gradient, orange links, left sidebar, and the convolute of text and imagery from its previous UI in early May to reveal a simple, white background adorned with crisp, blue text. However, today’s update adds three columns to the look.
Bing now features standard results in its first column, while the second column is “Snapshot,” which synchronizes results from OpenTable, Yelp, and FanSnap to help users get things done. The third column is “Social”—this bad boy integrates data from Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Foursquare, and more to present one cohesive newsfeed that is relevant to searches. The highlight will also display results from non-friends, such as experts around the web, to give an unbiased crop of data.
So, yes, the new design is uncannily Google, but the search engine also stands on its own with a few unique additions that make it exclusively Bing. The market will have to wait and see if this redesign drives traffic and causes users to adopt the three-year old search alternative, because —at this point— it looks the Bing’s alleged search superiority and social integration will certainly give Google a run for its money.
Bing’s final look is rolling out over the coming weeks. Those who would like to be one of the first to experience the new Bing can visit www.bing.com/new and sign-up to receive an email notification when it becomes available.
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