microsoftBing is the string that binds the experience on Windows Phones and the new Windows 8 PCs, at least that’s what Microsoft likes to think.

Now, the company has announced a major update for its search engine on Windows Phone 8 smartphones that adds a new interface and a set of new features to the service. The update will first roll out to Windows Phone 8 smartphones in the US, and then they’ll land on international Windows Phones as well.

The biggest interface change is the reduction of tabs on Bing, that are now restricted to web, images and video. The idea not only make the experience more simplistic also adds more results in the first web view. According to Microsoft, the web category has been designed to be smart enough to show whatever is most relevant to your search, including images, videos, and local results. The Bing team has also improved the freshness of local results which will make finding directions or a restaurant or even phone numbers easier.

The update also adds richer results for popular websites. So if one enters ‘Delta Airlines’ it will provide links to Flight Status, SkyMiles, Track Flight, and Flight Schedules.

The image and video categories now support infinite scrolling. Images also gets larger auto-scaled thumbnails and now the results appear faster and consumes less data because the phone only downloads results for the web view, and image and videos will be populated on demand.

Bing on Windows Phone also adds more instant answers. The new update brings 10 Instant Answers available on the PC to the phone, including traffic, flight status, exchange rates, word definitions and translations, and more.

Lastly, a new feature called Snapshot has been added to give more glanceable information regarding people, places or things like movies.

Essentially, the new Bing update is bid on Microsoft’s part make its mobile search experience on par with what Google is already offering on the iPhone and Android. Has it succeeded? We are not too sure about that, but certainly it is taking the right steps, to counter the Google problem.

 

Credit: BGR