PSA: Bing Search update for Windows Phone 8 going wider in the US

Back at the beginning of August, Microsoft detailed the upcoming changes to Bing Search for Windows Phone 8. The change was meant to keep Windows Phone 8 in line with the current desktop version of Bing and due to metrics on user action, the Search layout was changed.

It was noted though that these changes, which are occurring on Microsoft’s backend and not the device itself, would be rolling out to the US first and the rest of the world in the coming weeks. At the time quite a few of you in the US already had the update, though on our T-Mobile and AT&T devices, we were left out of the mix.

However, since yesterday we’ve noticed our Bing Search has finally received the previously announced overhaul, merging Local results and giving media a new layout. In addition, we’ve had a handful of tips from readers noting the same change, so we’re surmising that Microsoft has activated a second stage of deployment.

Have you noticed the changes? If so let us know below with your location.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • I hate it. I was eagerly anticipating this update until I received it 3 days ago. It buries the local search within web and sometimes (!) doesn't even show any local results! I put in "wells Fargo" yesterday and not once did it show me a local wells fargo bank (the old way would have - it was my most used windows phone feature). Used Nokia maps to find a local wells Fargo instead. And as nice as Nokia maps is, its slower than simply binging it. I wish it could go back to the old way
  • Maybe its down to the rollout, just tried it and got local wells Fargo locations at the top of the search results.
  • Thanks. Just checked again and yes Wells Fargo is at the top. Awesome. Maybe you're right and it didn't fully rollout yet or something to me. If it consistenylu shows my local results I retract my original post
  • I got the "update" a while ago.
    Local results regularly don't show up where they use to, mainly retail stores and restaurants.
    I don't understand how I could have gotten half of an update where local results are broken,  (I live in the Washington DC suburbs so my locations shouldn't be a factor)
  • Really really not a fan of this change on mobile. Burying Local seems like a step backwards. 99% of the time I use the Bing button on my phone it is to find something local.
  • They dont bury Local they merge it into the main search which is logical 
  • If they're going to merge Local and Web, why have any pivots? I'm not seeing how this new arrangement is logical.
  • Try changing your "browser and search language" to "English (Canada)". We don't get nice things.
  • Agree. I did not like this update since local searches are deeply buried. I was trying to find a local AutoZone. Previously it would show the local ones, website, phone numbers etc. Now it just seems a bit harder and tedious.
    EDIT. Ok maybe its not THAT bad but I still prefer the previous layout.
  • Completely agree! You can't find local info anymore. This sucks.
  • If you search for generic term, e.g. Car repair, it will give you all local results with phone numbers and a link to Drive/navigation. But if you search for, lets say, AutoZone, it will give you web results with links to AutoZone's web pages that has phone numbers or directions. Give it a try and you will see what I mean.
  • Last couple days it's been funky but now its working with local at the top. Now I'm liking the new layout.
  • Really really dislike this new layout. Tried searching for Starbucks, Home Depot, and McDonalds. Not a SINGLE local result. Seems the only way I can find that now is to go to Maps. The starbucks result for instance, under the web tab has web results, images, more web results, videos, more web results, apps, related searches, more web results.
    Also, why on earth do they list image and video results within the web results if there are separate tabs for those? This thing is an absolute mess now.
  • You're not doing it right, then. 
    I searched for Starbucks, and at the very top, it shows the official Starbucks website, below that is a map of the nearest location and below that are the locations of the next 3 closest stores with phone numbers and directions.
    The new layout is great, in my opinion.
  • And you're not reading me correctly. I just did a Starbucks search and my layout is in a different order than what you just laid out
  • Maybe I get extra special Starbucks treatment because I'm in Seattle.  ;)
  • Okay then, since you're obviously so much better at this than I am, please tell me how to "do it right." Here's what I'm doing:
    Hit search icon
    Type in "starbucks"
    Hit enter
    My results? Web, news, apps, web, related searches, more web. Not a single local result. No maps, no phone numbers. Nothing. If I go to Maps (MS or Nokia) it immediately knows exactly where I am. This is different than what I got earlier today too.
    I stand by my initial claim - these changes as they have been rolled out are utter garbage.
  • I'm sorry yours isn't working properly.  I hope it gets updated for you because when it works, it really is a great layout.
  • It looks like it's not fully rolled out yet. I am getting local results for starbucks, but not some restaurants and banks.
  • Try typing in your city after the search. I couldn't get anything for Starbucks, McDonald's or Meijer unless I put in Lansing afterward. Locally owned businesses seemed to work fine, though.
  • I also can't stand the lack of local results, I've been using the maps program to search for local results since the update went live on my l920.
    On my mobile device I search many more local items than images or video.
  • I agree with the others, the new local is total crap. 
  • Mine doesn't work. I don't get any local results. No pivot (which is expected after the upgrade) but no local results in web. Now to search for businesses I have to open Nokia drive, but then I don't have phone #"s or hours. Its not that I am resistant to change, its just that I don't get the information I need, no blended web and local. I don't want to go to the vendors website just to see address/#/hours. if someone knows of a fix let me know. US ATT 1020
  • Give it time. In a few days you may get I guess, a second update... That populates the local search more. Thats what happened to me
  • +1,000,000
  • Let me as ask do you have T-Mobile because I noticed that on my wife's phone but not on mine. I hit cvs on her phone and she didn't get any of the local search. I did on my ATT and the local search was on top. I am wondering if TMO and ATT got different updates.
  • I have at&t. The 920
  • Local & Web have integrated looks so much better.
  • I still don't see local results for things I normally would. I mostly used Bing for the local results. Not liking this change, I don't care much about videos of "coffee".
  • I'm seeing it on my 920, using AT&T in New York metro area.
  • Just checked and I have it in the DC area on a Rogers 920 on Tmo.
  • I'm in the DC area also. Are you getting reliable local results for searches?
  • Being from the rest of the world, For the first time I'm happy MS is ignoring our ass, i absolutely love local search results. My android,friends,think its pretty neat.
  • Being from the _very_ rest of the world, I still can't wait to say I'm happy to get something more interesting than desktop(!!!) page of Bing after tapping the search button. Our local search provider Yandex (Russia) sucks and the third option is Google's mobile page which I'd be happy to ignore just because it's google.
  • Huh, got it too.
    Have to take it for a spin.
  • I have it Canada by using US search. Changed over last week for me.
  • I'm on Rogers in Ontario and I have it if I change my browser and search language to "English ('Murka)".
  • I got it on my unlocked 720 here in Brazil too
  • I am finding it harder to find local businesses. It mostly just gives me their official websites instead of finding a location close to me. It had been quite frustrating. Though when it DOES find the local business, its nice to have a direct call button. I just wish they didn't combine web and local searches.
  • Try typing in your city after the search. I couldn't get anything for Starbucks, McDonald's or Meijer unless I put in Lansing afterward. Locally owned businesses seemed to work fine, though.
  • Yeah, I used the Local tab a lot.  Do not like the new search.  
  • Got it on my Lumia 1020. Like very much so far :-)
  • I got it. Lumia 920 att. Pretty slick I must say. Like the one button press for drive navigation
  • If I leave on the setting for Bing to use my location, I get ZERO local search results. If I turn off the option for use of my location, the local search results show up. Fantastic, right? Not really. All my results are for Philadelphia pr London....and I live in f'n Detroit. This is starting to be right up there with Xbox Music and Xbox Video. WP and Windows 8 had so much promise, but instead of them bettering areas and fixing others, everything seemed pt be getting worse. This is ridiculous.
  • Try typing in your city after the search. I couldn't get anything for Starbucks, McDonald's or Meijer unless I put in Lansing afterward. Locally owned businesses seemed to work fine, though.
  • Confirmed. I just noticed that and came here to post before I saw yours. The funny thing is that with location off I get sort of local results (Bellevue instead of Seattle) and get the link to turn on location for better local results. I click that, turn it and the search reruns.... With no local results. Typing Seattle after a term does return local sometimes, but for things all over town, not near me. Definitely broken.
  • It seems to have been in some transitional stages over the last few days, with image results running off the screen. Just checked it  now and it's a bit messier, with an extra Bing search bar at the top of all of the pages, though the media results do stay on the screen. I will miss the Local page unless they have something new coming to replace it.
  • Oh, Lumia 920, AT&T, Arkansas USA
  • Yeah same here with the images running off the screen issue. Glad it was fixed. Loving the new local feature however.
  • Looks like I got it. Its kinda insane if you think about it. Like stuff on your phone just changes without ur knowledge! Lol at least knowledge of when it will happen
  • I like how if you search for lets say "coffee" it will include local places like Starbucks with a location, phone and drive information. And when you select drive, that the Here drive app fires up ready to go. That integration is pretty slick.
  • I have. Located in Virginia.
  • This update blurs images
  • I don't like it, tried few searches like bestbuy and did not get any local info. Local tab was the main reason to use the search button.
    I think Bing on WP is going backwards, first it lost the context sensitivity and now the local info. What's the use of search on a mobile device other than these two instances.
  • Try typing in your city after the search. I couldn't get anything for Starbucks, McDonald's or Meijer unless I put in Lansing afterward. Locally owned businesses seemed to work fine, though.
  • Losing the local is a HUGE step back. Was also one of my most used. I originally thought Nokia had blocked it because it forces you to use their maps! I never get any local results now ( in new York city!) where can we complain about this?
  • Try typing in your city after the search. I couldn't get anything for Starbucks, McDonald's or Meijer unless I put in Lansing afterward. Locally owned businesses seemed to work fine, though.
  • That sort of works but the results are not really local but all over the city.
  • Just got it. Nice! I'm not as concerned about the reorganization of results and so-called "burying" of local. When you actually use it (for example, search for a local restaurant), the local results seem to be intelligently prioritized within web. I just don't think there's always enough of a need for local results to warrant an entire results category. Well done, Bing!
  • same as image above. Malaysia
  • Changed this morning on tmobile for me in New Orleans. I actually like it. Played with it using different searches and so far has been spot on
  • i got this change after 2-3 days when you posted last post regarding Microsoft details forthcoming changes to Bing search on Windows Phone 8. may be 7-10 aug 2013 I m from INDIA
  • Now it clear why my LOCAL search has vanished.....this is whack...
  • Am I the only one who extensively uses the image search on a mobile device? I'm a little annoyed that there is a limit to the amount images you can view from bing search. May be nit-picking but why can"t I view images until my eyeballs bleed through my sockets?
  • I like the improvements to photos and video's, infinite to phone. No longer the need to hit more...
    Hell, use local scout your areas.
  • I definitely do wish the location search would come up first instead of news then the map!
  • Yup this has been working for a few days now, I first noticed it with the drive and call buttons, which are great!
  • Hayward,CA changes are confirmed here in the Bay Area. Looks great running smooth. KEEP UP THE WORK MICROSOFT.
  • I miss the local search
  • Just got my update today. Pretty awesome compared to the old Bing
  • I am in Manhattan and typing " Starbucks " , " bank of America " , " chipotle" brings up NO local results in the search. The only way to do it is to to add " new York" on the end and it works every time...that seems ridiculous as Bing knows my location!
  • Its not a user error. Its a Bing error. But thanks for making a false accusation.
  • I got mine today at&t Nokia Lumia 920
  • It's on T-Mo Lumia 810, Indiana, USA.
  • So now it's only half a year to never till the rest of the non US get's those features :-). Seriously though it'll probably take a few months as these things usually go if they even port all features.
  • I have it, and I'm in germany.
  • At first, image search was all messed up. Some images would overflow off the screen, and some you couldn't see at all. Then I noticed more changes to web searches, with news articles and such being layed out differently. Today, I realized there was a rollout of changes, and I did a search that was messed up yesterday and the images are nicely tucked inside the screen dimensions. Local results are nice, because you can click to call and drive without opening the specific Bing page for that venue. Love the aesthetics as well.
  • Mine is updated; 8X on VZW in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I like the results.  Relevant and concise.  I wish the APP section was a little higher as it helps promote going to apps instead of the web but its still a better set up.
  • Working very well here in my location in Texas. Searching for things like "Autozone, StarBucks, NewsPaper" Local Results are posted with phone numbers and location's has well at the very top.
  • Whoever came up with this lame idea must be secretly working for Google or Apple. Only three search results,are you kidding?
  • So, let me get this straight... 
    You want to quickly find directions to, say, the closest Starbucks and it angers you that they don't show you the 4th, 5th or 6th closest locations?  How many locations do you want to drive past before you stop?