Microsoft's Bing is thinking outside the search box with a revamped experience focused on simplicity and speed.
Boasting a new interface and features like Snapshot, Page Zero, and Pole Position, as well as more mobile and PC options, the modern Bing.com aims to be more than just another search engine.
"Since Bing's launch, we've talked about doing instead of searching, and how the Web has changed from a collection of documents to a constantly growing digital version of life as we know it," Lawrence Ripsher, general manager of user experiences at Bing, said in a blog post.
"As the same time," he continued, "the devices and scenarios through which people experience the Web are morphing at an accelerating rate. We no longer think about search as simply a box that people type into."
Instead, search has become an immersive, social experience, boosted by Bing's updates.
A 2012 Bing makeover included the introduction of the Snapshot and Sidebar features, which provide personal and professional details for all queries.
But what if you're unsure of exactly what you're searching for? Page Zero delivers results even before accessing the results page. Like Google's autocomplete, Bing drops down a list of similar search phrases, but also provides relevant information about the person, place, or thing on the right side of the screen.
Not all search queries are well-defined, though. Say you type in "temple" — are you looking for information about the religious structure, Pennsylvania University, or the tube station in London? Bing sidesteps ambiguity with its new Pole Position results bar, which highlights "high confidence" results based on a user's intent.
"When we know that someone wants images of a celebrity, is looking for a specific fact, or needs a detailed view of the weather in a particular city, we now provide a much larger answer beautifully integrated at the top of the page," Ripsher said.
Microsoft-owned Bing understands, as well, that not all searches are conducted on the same gadget. So, the company has redesigned its layout specifically to adjust to the size of the screen and the context of the user. Results, as Ripsher explained, should look the same on a Surface or iPad as they do on a PC or smartphone.
Along with a redesigned user interface, the company has also introduced a new logo (pictured) and brand identity, helping to align the search engine with the "One Microsoft" vision. Fonts, colours, photography, and graphic elements have all been updated to reflect a more modern Bing search engine.
"The new Bing identity is more than a new logo and color palette," Scott Erickson, senior director of brand and creative, said in a separate blog post. "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."
For more, check out the revamped search engine in the video above.