Bing pushes out Spring UI updates and Foursquare integration

Microsoft said on Thursday that it is updating Bing with several new UI enhancements and newly announced Foursquare integration.

Bing has made several refinements to the user interface (UI). Microsoft has added a new "Bing Box" which includes real-time data and has added quick tabs to the top of seach query results. The enhancements will be rolled out gradually over the coming weeks although Microsoft says around 5% of U.S. visitors will see the improvements today. Mary Jo Foley says the enhancements may or may not come to International Bing variants.

Microsoft has also introduced a new map application, which brings real time data from foursquare into the Silverlight maps experience. Foursquare is a location based social networking service that allows users to "check-in" at venues. Users are then awarded badges, points and mayorship of locations.  The foursquare map app combines Bing Maps with foursquare’s user reputation service. Users will be able to see who has unlocked badges and who is mayor of certain locations. The social networking aspects of foursquare allow Bing to bring in rich data of what tips people are creating about certain locations. "It's like an interactive day planner, designed to help find the best things to do in that area. And if you have questions, you can always contact users through foursquare to get the inside scoop," said  Bing's Todd Schwartz.

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Looking forward to the updates that Bing will be rolling outâ€"the FourSquare application looks pretty cool. @dimithrak I am surprised that Bing does not let you customize the colors/background- maybe that is something they will update in the future.

Bing seems to actually be Microsoft's "Proper" attempt at web search, and a lot of their projects are actually big improvements over rivals.

What's the deal with Microsoft's non-willingness to provide products outside the USA though? They seem to be deliberately limiting their target market for no apparent reason. I can sort of understand why they'd want to establish a market for Zune in the USA first, but search? Really?

Majesticmerc said,
Bing seems to actually be Microsoft's "Proper" attempt at web search, and a lot of their projects are actually big improvements over rivals.

What's the deal with Microsoft's non-willingness to provide products outside the USA though? They seem to be deliberately limiting their target market for no apparent reason. I can sort of understand why they'd want to establish a market for Zune in the USA first, but search? Really?

I think it's more to do with the fact that the UK and other contries also have specific things to that area that it's people care about over say the US. Rolling out some new system that works for the US to the UK is fine, but will that have the same resaults? I figure each area needs it's own tweaks to work right.

GP007 said,

I think it's more to do with the fact that the UK and other contries also have specific things to that area that it's people care about over say the US. Rolling out some new system that works for the US to the UK is fine, but will that have the same resaults? I figure each area needs it's own tweaks to work right.

That's a good point. Plus, more and more countries have filters and censors as well...

Lannister said,
" the enhancements may or may not come to International Bing variants."

Why?


Because they only add functionality to the US versions and let all the other countries use a sucky, stupid beta version. grrrr

Lannister said,
" the enhancements may or may not come to International Bing variants."

Why?


Perhaps they don't have enough dedicated staff working for other countries I suppose?

Lannister said,
" the enhancements may or may not come to International Bing variants."

Why?

Seems like an odd statement to me as well. Like, does this mean "Ever"? LOL I would think good features would trickle out to everyone at some point...

Dervis said,
they really have to sort out their international support, the UK Bing is dismal as much as I like using it.

Yea, they really need to have more international feature support.

I remember all the wonderful things that were shown but here in the UK hardly any of them work. Why MS can't just release everything for everyone I don't know.

Wow! I haven't used Bing for a long time now, and just tried it again today for the heck of it. I have to say it's really improved a lot over the past few months.. I really like it now, it's faster and provides really good results in a smart matter.. i can see why they call it a 'decision engine' now.. very nice!!

I've always liked Bing maps more than Google maps because I noticed Bing Maps always seems more up-to-date... there are streets in my area that were just build yesterday and I see it already in Bing but not in Google... lol

j2006 said,
Wow! I haven't used Bing for a long time now, and just tried it again today for the heck of it. I have to say it's really improved a lot over the past few months.. I really like it now, it's faster and provides really good results in a smart matter.. i can see why they call it a 'decision engine' now.. very nice!!

I've always liked Bing maps more than Google maps because I noticed Bing Maps always seems more up-to-date... there are streets in my area that were just build yesterday and I see it already in Bing but not in Google... lol

Yeah, it's really amazing how much Microsoft is putting in to Bing. Not just financially, but planning... It's really well thought out. And the organization of search results is the best I've ever seen. They really have a good product here.

I really like bing.. except for the Orange color tone they have going on the search results page.. thats a major turnoff.. hate that color!

dimithrak said,
I really like bing.. except for the Orange color tone they have going on the search results page.. thats a major turnoff.. hate that color!

But I like Orange Juice because of the Vitamin C in it.

Its one of those UI balancing acts. I like the contrast. I submitted feedback suggesting they offer a few font-color options in user preferences.

dimithrak said,
I really like bing.. except for the Orange color tone they have going on the search results page.. thats a major turnoff.. hate that color!

I bet there is a Greasemonkey/other script for that