Microsoft details forthcoming changes to Bing search on Windows Phone 8

On Friday, we brought you a report of upcoming changes to how Bing works and looks on Windows Phone 8. At the time, we presented a handful of documented alterations and confirmed with Microsoft that these new features were coming to those in the US soon and the rest of the world a bit later.

Today, Microsoft has decided to detail those changes on the Windows Phone Blog, filling in some of the blanks for the search engine overhaul.

Some of those changes include the previously mentioned redesign of Web search, which now merges the Local pivot within it. That’s because Web search has become smarter, allowing it to “…show whatever’s most relevant to your search, including images, videos, and local results”. That’s opposed to the previous method where you’d have to swipe to the right to view different categories.

Such modifications should mean less taps and swipes from consumers, with only relevant information being presented. Similarly, searching for a site like Delta Airlines will now present you with “links to Flight Status, SkyMiles, Track Flight, Flight Schedules”, making things a lot simpler.

Another update is how data is used. On the old Bing, when you brought down results it would also populate the images and video pivots, regardless if you used them or not. Now with the new update, those pivots won’t have data downloaded unless the user swipes to the right, purposefully requesting more information. That should help cut back on some data for users and it is a good move when you consider the earlier re-thinking of the Web search results.

Two other features are Instant Answers and Snapshot. The former we alluded to with the definitions example, whereby Bing will give you a word definition without having to drill into a site to find out more. We have now learned that such Instant Answers include results for local time requests, currency information, traffic data, flight records and more. Meanwhile, Snapshot “provides information at-a-glance about people, places, or things”, without having to load up a website.

All in all, these are nice additions to Bing, though it will be a few weeks before people in the US with a Windows Phone 8 device see these changes (users won’t have to do anything, as the update will come from Microsoft’s servers). We still haven’t had the new experience load up here in New York, but what about you folks? Let us know in comments.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.