First it was Yahoo!; now, fellow Google competitor Bing is throwing down the gauntlet and reshaping its image. Today, Microsoft started by unveiling the search engine's redesigned logo, a lean, lowercase wordmark featuring the Segoe font in a soft gold. Like the Windows Phone, it is influenced by classic Swiss design, and will probably go down better with design critics than Yahoo!'s weekend-marathon design special. Bing also previewed a few new search efficiency features aimed to function as both intuitive and time-saving.
Our favorite is Page Zero, which quickly provides you likely answers to your search before loading full pages of results. This is great for when you already know the gist of something, but can't find the words or name for it (blame Google for this phenomena). Science calls this metacognition, and Page Zero is here to address it.
Other new features previewed include Pole Position, for more specific searches where relevant results are guaranteed — just typing your city's weather into Bing will bring up the actual forecast. Additionally, Snapshot and Sidebar are merging into one mega-feature that gives you bullet point facts about a query, as well as your social media network's take on it.
One thing you shouldn't expect anytime soon is a Bing-specific social network of its own right; it's just not Microsoft's style. Microsoft Search director Stefan Weitz tells The Verge that Bing is about key partnerships, like those they enjoy with Twitter, Facebook, and Klout. "Our approach at Bing has been, for a long time, to not necessarily build our own social network, to not build our own video channel, to not build all these things that we want to work with, we partner." In other words: integration, not domination. [The Verge]