First off, Microsoft has eliminated the Local and Shopping screens, and replaced the Media screen with a Photos screen and a Videos screen. As it turns out, most users weren’t using Shopping and Local, so Microsoft has ditched them in favor of a smarter Web screen.
According to the company’s blog post revealing the changes, they have high hopes for a one-stop search experience through the Web category, saying: “The new Web category, for example, is designed to be smart enough to show whatever’s most relevant to your search, including images, videos, and local results.”
The new Bing is also getting better 10 more instant answer options that are already available on the desktop, including definitions, traffic data, flight status and currency conversion.
What that ends up meaning is that if you were to search for a movie, you’d be able to get local showtimes, order tickets and read about the film.
The new images and videos tabs will also be getting infinite scrolling, so if you want to scroll through hundreds and hundreds of cats without having to hit a next page button, you’ll be able to.
It’s a big laundry list of changes, but the new functionality is welcome on a platform that isn’t doing nearly as well as either of its two major competitors in capturing the interest of consumers.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.