Yesterday Microsoft unveiled a mayor Bing update that is currently in the works and will become available in the upcoming months. Despite the rumours of Microsoft trying to sell or kill Bing, Microsoft is actually improving it to be more accurate, useful and social, in an attempt to keep up with the evolution of the web.
Although the new version is just in preview mode and it lacks many of the announced features, you can give it a try at www.bing.com/new.
The new features in the Bing update can be summarized as follows:
- Updated User Interface: cleaner and more Metro like results page and also a richer home page with top trends and such.
- Improved Web Results: faster searches with more accurate results, kind of focusing on doing activities or performing actions related to your search queries.
- Snapshot: users can take advantage of a snapshot of useful information about the search results, all in one place in a separate column, just by hovering on a result link.
- Sidebar: social integration where users can take advantage of friends interactions, activities and recommendations. It is basically a right hand side column with your social networks contacts, activities and a few other cool social features.
I would say that this relates to the concept of the Semantic Web, and how web documents can be processed to create structured knowledge that helps us get better results from the information and activities we perform online.
Although the update is not available yet, and apparently it will be rolling out in phases on given markets, I would suggest to keep an eye on it. One of the most interesting concepts is to be able to port the physical real world action of asking friends and colleagues for recommendations and references online, which by no means is a Microsoft’s idea, but we could say that this takes us one step closer to that digital goal.
If you want to see more of the new Bing, take a look at this video. It looks cool indeed!