Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Little Info on the Bing Spring Update

As catchy as this title sounds the update to Bing may even be catchier. As part of the development process for Bing, Microsoft is now rolling out their spring update. Albeit, very slowly at first.

Today marks the first day of this update, which will allow 5% of the market to see new benefits of the Bing ecosystem. (This number will slowly increase to 100% within the next few weeks). Microsoft currently does not know if this update will make it outside of the US, i.e. international segments. So, if you currently live outside of the US, you may not be able to get this update, sorry.

What does it entail?

Once again, this update is designed to further enhance the user’s search experience. Microsoft said in their official statement that they had found 42% of users still had to refine their search after the first time searching a particular topic. This update will hopefully reduce that percentage. Given some of the changes that Bing has done, it may just fix part of the problem.

Quick Tabs Bar. Nothing really new here, except Microsoft will be doing a couple of UI changes. Most notably, this will entail moving from its current position (upper-left corner of the screen) to just below the search bar. This will hopefully enable users to locate and use the bar more often.

More Real Time Results. Bing introduced real-time results using Twitter, and will further implement this feature with this update. Here’s a little information about this feature and what’s to come:

Last October, we shared our experience, and this week, we will test new experiences for real-time results. For example, when you search for a publication such as the New York Times, Bing not only gives you quick access to specific sections of the destination website, but also provides the most popular shared links from that publication.

Foursquare Everywhere. Alright, so not my favorite new feature, but for those who need to know where everyone is at all times, this will be a great feature (stalkers anyone?). Anyways, Foursquare will be a work-upon of Bing’s Map App, allowing users to view local information about the area and people. Here’s a little more of what’s to come:

The foursquare map app is a powerful combination of the spatial canvas that Bing Maps provides, combined with foursquare’s user reputation service ability to see who has unlocked specific badges, where and who has been crowned mayor of certain locations making it easier to explore any city in the world as if you were a local.

That’s about it for now. Look out in the coming weeks for this update to start appearing. The best way to do so is to set your home page to MSN or Of course, I’m not trying to sell you Bing, so you could just leave it as Google, or whatever you currently use. You can also read more information about the Bing Refresh to see what else is coming.

As always, you can contact me via Twitter @jctierney, or leave a comment below. Questions, comments, information, etc. are all welcome.


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