New-look Bing hits U.S., but will it satisfy?

U.S. users of Microsoft's search platform can now access the updated, three-column design. The next challenge is to find more and better content.

The all-new Bing design.
The all-new Bing design. Microsoft

Searchers heading over to Bing will now find the service's all-new layout .

The Bing Team announced today that the latest version of its search platform is now available to any and all users in the U.S. Microsoft announced the update a few weeks ago, and promised to roll it out across the U.S. in due time. The company has made good on that promise.

The new Bing is a noticeable departure from its old look. Now, users will find a three-column layout, with the leftmost pane included search results. The center column, which Microsoft is calling "Snapshot," is designed to offer users relevant information and services related to their Web results. The right column, called "Sidebar," adds a dose of social features to the mix, including an activity feed to see Facebook updates, the ability to ask friends questions, and more.

"Whether it's making a purchase, deciding on a vacation destination, choosing a great restaurant, or figuring out which movie to see this weekend, the new Bing focuses on bringing friends, experts and enthusiasts into your search experience through a dedicated social 'sidebar,'" Microsoft said last month in a blog post outlining the changes.

CNET's Rafe Needleman took the new design for a spin last month , and found it to be quite appealing in its responsiveness. However, he was disappointed by the platform's general lack of content.

"I expect that as this socially enabled version of Bing matures, Microsoft (and Facebook) will figure out a way to layer in more and better content," Needleman wrote. "But I expected a more useful offering for a major update to social search from a partnership between tech giants Microsoft and Facebook."

 

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