Microsoft seems pretty determined to make Bing work for it. The Redmond-based giant has given the search engine a makeover, including a new logo and the addition of new features: Glance and Page Zero.
The first of these new features combines Snapshot, which showed what “Bing knows” about a person, place or thing and Sidebar, where you could see what your “Friends know” from Facebook, Twitter and many other social networks.
In an official blog post, Microsoft claims that combining the two features will “provide people with all the supporting context they’ll need for any given query”.
The example Microsoft uses provides a pretty clear understanding of how the new feature works:
Consider a search for “Highway 1”. Bing knows there are many possible things you might be looking for. Our new design displays both the factual data about this beautiful route (length, date, related places), and also the human perspective whether they be status updates, photos, tweets, check-in’s or expert opinions.
Page Zero meanwhile is its attempt to compete more seriously with Google in the instant search game. As with Google, the feature provides information as you begin typing, meaning that you don’t always have to click through the results page.
According to Microsoft:
Page Zero can also help users find what they are looking for faster through “intelligent disambiguation”. This is another way of saying if we understand there are two similarly named people or things, we give you the choice of picking the one you want for the most relevant results. For example, if you’re searching for “jon stewart” You could be talking about the show or the host. So here we present you with a choice right in the search box.
It also claims that Page Zero will work as well on mobile as it does on the web.
The new logo meanwhile apparently came about because the old one “wasn’t working”. It says that this prompted it to run hundreds of studies investigating things such as motion, form, font, colour and size.
Beyond the new logo, the tech giant also implemented a new colour palette
“We didn’t set out to just provide data via blue links on the web. We set out to provide clarity, decisions and insights. Bing is no longer just a search engine on a web page. It’s a brand that combines search technology across products you use every day to help empower you with insights,” Microsoft says in a blog post.
While the new features look promising, they don’t take away from the fact that Google’s had similar features for quite a while now and that Microsoft is effectively still playing catch-up.