Microsoft has announced a range of Bing enhancements coming this spring during a keynote at SES NY late last week. Many of these improvements are focused on UI and include a new “bing box”, navigation changes and foursquare integration.
The most notable change is the addition of a box at the top of the page which displays relevant information for popular search categories like travel, celebrities and music. Using pop star Lady Gaga as an example, the box includes links to her official site, tour dates and twitter integration.
The image above (thanks to TechCrunch) also shows a change to the left hand navigation whereby Microsoft have removed their category based navigation links (eg: News about lady Gaga, Images of lady Gaga) and replaced this with other information related to the search.
Another enhancement has been the addition of dedicated pages for auto related searches. This is all part of Bing’s aim to provide the most relevant information to the user, without them having to click off and visit another website. Here is an example of how the search for Ford mustang specs will appear:
The final major announcement is the integration of foursquare into the Bing maps application. Bing plans to integrate real time data from foursquare with their maps which will help to show local advice and points of interest to travellers. From the Bing blog:
Let’s say you’re travelling to New York City for the week, but you don’t know what’s hot in Greenwich Village. Selecting the foursquare Map App in Bing Maps, and zooming into to Greenwich Village will get you tips that show you what locals are saying about the hot spots in that area. It’s like an interactive day planner, designed to help find the best things to do in that area.
Bing says users will see some of these features rolling out shortly during testing. What do you think of the changes? Let us know in the comments below.