Microsoft gives Bing a new logo and is making changes to its interface

Microsoft has been constantly adding new features to its Bing search site since it first launched in 2009 as a direct competitor to Google. However, it hasn't made much of a dent in Google's overall search market share. Today, the company announced its biggest overhaul of Bing since it started over four years ago. The changes starts with a new logo:

Good-bye old Bing logo ...

... and Hello to the new logo.

In a post on the Bing blog, Microsoft said they created "hundreds of studies" for the new logo, along with making mock ads and billboards, before settling on the design above. The blog states:

The wordmark is a customized version of our corporate font Segoe. We retained the lowercase ‘b’ in tribute to our Bing logo heritage and to provide a slightly less obtrusive stance. The descender on the ‘g’ has been slightly modified to curve upward in a friendlier manner and the cut on the top of the ‘b’ mirrors the angle on the cut of the ‘t’ in our Microsoft logo. The kerning pairs of the ‘i’ and the ‘n’ are exactly the same as the ‘i’ and the ‘n’ in the Windows wordmark. The symbol, a stylized ‘b’, evokes a sense of movement, direction and energy. The color loosely pays tribute to the orange dot from the previous Bing logo while also fully embracing the Microsoft color palette and taking inspiration from one quadrant of the corporate flag logo.

Microsoft is not just giving Bing a new logo. In yet another blog post, it says that it will be rolling out changes in its interface in the near future, one that may turn search results into something like the design seen below:

One change integrates the Snapshot information box with the Sidebar section, which lets a person see what his or her friends on Twitter and Facebook are talking about, in one section on the right side of the page. Microsoft offers an example how this will help search results by looking up information on a highway; the Snapshot section gives the facts, while the Sidebar section can offer things like user reviews, status updates, recent photos and more that are related to that highway.

Another new addition is Page Zero, where typing in a search string will start to show information even before a person clicks on the "search" button. Microsoft has also put in what it calls "Pole Position", which shows information on top of a page about a search string that the Bing algorithms have "high confidence" about. The blog states:

When we know that someone wants images of a celebrity, is looking for a specific fact or needs a detailed view of the weather in a particular city, we now provide a much larger answer beautifully integrated at the top of the page.

Finally, the Bing website will adapt to different devices and displays so that it can offer the best interface for each user. Stefan Weitz, a Microsoft senior director of search, told the Wall Street Journal that the company " ... went back to the drawing board about how to build searches." We will have to see if a new logo and these new additions will help to bring more Google users to the Bing fold.

Source: Microsoft | Images via Microsoft

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Started trying the new Bing out today and I've gotta say its an excellent upgrade. Really cool to see relevant social results alongside the search results, among other things.

Did someone throw their copy of Visual Studio down the stairs ant that's the bit that fell off?

Well I guess there is something to be said for consistancy.

Only works on the US version, not on the UK version. It's a shame they don't keep the versions the same. I wish there was the rewards system here too.

The same goes for Google and Yahoo.

I think if google finds out there is a viable competitor to its search engine with enough market share, potentially will benefit consumers. so for that reason I am all for bing

I hated the old logo, so i'm for this; its an improvement. Looks cleaner. The standalone icon looks nice. Understandably, looks a little redundant next to the name.

<-- Now what to I do with this!

And I liked the stretched version. Though the standalone 'b' looks nice.

One day or another MS will need to stop rebranding and relogoing all its stuff on a regular basis.

Um you do know Bing was the one of the last to get updated right? They updated all their brands in the One Microsoft vision, so this was the last missing piece. There's still Yammer left though.

The symbol, a stylized ‘b', evokes a sense of movement, direction and energy.

All logo redesigns talk of stuff like this. Am I the only one who can't notice the "energy", "movement" or "direction" in logos?

Am i the only one that looked at the image with the weather and immediately thought that it looked just like Google? The black bar at the top looks just like how Google used to have it.

I guess Bing takes the yellow place in Microsoft's logo? I liked the blue color better, but the design is (kind of) nice.

And i'm wondering, how long this will last till next rebranding... Microsoft was never able to make final decision about it's web services (MSN, WL etc.)
By the way, i hope this version will not include foced sign-in while using IE.

Why would they need a forced sign in? You don't need that currently. It's a search engine, with the option to login (like Google) for extra features.

Ask them, not me. I just noticed that when i'm using Skype via old Windows Live account i'm also signed-in into my Microsoft Account and other Microsoft services as well in Internet Explorer. I think it's because how the support of WLM works in Skype - its not done via protocol but standard html login.

If I ever hear someone say 'Bing it' I will vomit. I want to like MS but they try too hard and they keep missing the mark. You know MS want us to say 'Bing it' like most of us use the word Google. The Google verb happened by accident and that is cool, its not cool to then go and try and orchestrate the same thing with word Bing.

yellow?!...YELLOW!? I preferred the blue =(

unification is good ....now if only they could do unify their services too!

You can put a very nice sticker on an average search engine... it still is an average search engine.

Is there no way to test this right now? Do you just have to wait and hope they turn it on in your part of the internet?

I'd like to see the search results get some UK / rest of world other than US love, the visuals are nice but most of what i see related to bing doesn't translate to the bing site for me in the UK.

is Bing doing browser discrimination?

on PaleMoon 24, i must manually type: http://www.bing.com/video to access video search
but on IE, i can simply click the "Video" from Bing homepage.

The "Video" link are no longer offered when using Palemoon,
I'm sure this doesn't happens a few month ago.

It probably doesn't recognize Palemoon and thinks you are from another planet, so in a bandwidth saving measure, it doesn't provide you with a link to videos.

Your Location cookies are prob set to two different Regions in each Browser.. go to your Settings page in Bing, change to United States- English?
I don't know.. I'm using Palemoon and see the links up top just fine(version 24)

I have been using Bing for quite a while now and I always get excited at overhauls, improvements and generally changes, because so far they have almost always been for the better.

I just love the first screenshot, those search results make the website look like a dynamic social blog, if that makes any sense.

Not sure about the actual 'b' logo, though, if they keep the dark gray background on the results page it's going to look very out of place. Why not just use white as a background with a light gray for the sidebar elements or something?

I think it looks OK.Not excited, but its ok.
However imho they need to work on unification.

Currently for email/messaging they have:
Outlook,
Hotmail,
Windows Live,
Skype

On Windows 8 they have
Bing Finance,
Bing News,
Bing Maps,
Bing Search,
Bing Sports,
Bing Travel

and on top of that they have named their media apps with the xbox word and logo (XBOX Video, XBOX Musix, ) which for me personally the "XBOX" word shouldn't be included in the naming of apps inside an OS with the exception of course of XBOX Games which makes sense.

For example "Photos" is just perfect.

You're contradicting yourself.

Firstly, for email it's simply "Outlook" (the Hotmail and Windows Live brands are no longer used). For messaging it's just "Skype" (if you don't count Lync in the enterprise world).

Secondly, the reason they're adding Bing or Xbox in front of the various services/apps IS for unification of brands, which is what you just said they should do.

- Bing is now the unified brand for everything search / knowledge related, and those Bing apps does exactly that - surface knowledge across the web in each of those areas.
- Xbox is now the unified brand for everything entertainment related. So you have Xbox Games, which of course is for games, but also Xbox Video and Xbox Music for their respective entertainment categories.

pikablu0530 said,
You're contradicting yourself.

Firstly, for email it's simply "Outlook" (the Hotmail and Windows Live brands are no longer used). For messaging it's just "Skype" (if you don't count Lync in the enterprise world).

Secondly, the reason they're adding Bing or Xbox in front of the various services/apps IS for unification of brands, which is what you just said they should do.

- Bing is now the unified brand for everything search / knowledge related, and those Bing apps does exactly that - surface knowledge across the web in each of those areas.
- Xbox is now the unified brand for everything entertainment related. So you have Xbox Games, which of course is for games, but also Xbox Video and Xbox Music for their respective entertainment categories.

Makes sense.

pikablu0530 said,
You're contradicting yourself.

Firstly, for email it's simply "Outlook" (the Hotmail and Windows Live brands are no longer used). For messaging it's just "Skype" (if you don't count Lync in the enterprise world).

Secondly, the reason they're adding Bing or Xbox in front of the various services/apps IS for unification of brands, which is what you just said they should do.

- Bing is now the unified brand for everything search / knowledge related, and those Bing apps does exactly that - surface knowledge across the web in each of those areas.
- Xbox is now the unified brand for everything entertainment related. So you have Xbox Games, which of course is for games, but also Xbox Video and Xbox Music for their respective entertainment categories.

While the commenter's W8 examples are not illustrative of MS's horrible brand "strategy," your examples are unpersuasive. You say that Bing is now the "unified brand for everything search / knowledge related." So? That's as logical and persuasive saying MSN is the unified brand of everything content-related online. Yes, true, but MSN and Bing paradoxically illustrate how fragmented and objectively awful MS brand strategy is. If any two properties should be the same brand, it's these two. Yet THEY'RE NOT. They should bite the bullet and change MSN to Bing Today or some such.

Charitably setting aside XBox and Windows/RT/8/Phone for a moment, let's take MS's online properties: MSN and Bing and Outlook and Skype and Skydrive and Office Web Apps... these are analogous to Google, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, etc. See the difference? Or to Yahoo, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Messenger. There is NO brand connectivity between the MS properties other than fonts. Awesome. To us who follow this kind of thing, the brands are easy to connect. But I was in Wisconsin this summer, and my 18 year old neice had no idea that Bing and Xbox and Zune and Skype were Microsoft. No idea they were connected. She only knew Windows was MS. This is the challenge that can't be dismissed.

And if anyone things it's not important to have MS brands be connected and recongized to be connected by a mass audience, that's a mistake. Even Ballmer knows this from his various quotes. Outside of a tech audience, people know Windows to be MS, and not nearly as many know Xbox as MS. Apple, Google and Yahoo are at a huge advantage simply due to brand connectivity and consistency. This should not be underestimated.

In my opinion, they should rally around the three brands that have the potential to be connected by brute force advertising that MS can afford, if not by any actual logical connection.
1. Windows. For all UX on a device.
2. Surface. For all MS hardware running any version of Windows.
3. Xbox: For all consumer and entertainment experiences from hardware to video to music to TV.
4. Bing: everything online except for Skype, an arguably stronger brand. Online is the most fragmented and confusing MS array of products.
a. Bing for straight search
b. Bing Today (in lieu of MSN)
c. Skype for all things messaging (all email addresses stay the same, or MS figures out a Skype.com email address transition. If not for that stupid Sky TV issue, they lost an opportunity to rebrand everything Sky as a prefix: skype and skydrive. Now they're kind of fu*&ed.
d. Skydrive. i have no idea.

petrolly said,
my 18 year old niece* had no idea that Bing and Xbox and Zune and Skype were Microsoft.
Well, considering that Zune is no longer relevant, I don't think her lack of knowledge on that one is very important anyway. Microsoft only pretty recently acquired Skype, so that one as well can be permissible. If someone doesn't know that Xbox is made by Microsoft, then they probably aren't using one very regularly; and, as such, are likely not the target demographic. So why should I be expected to know that Lada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lada) is a Russian car brand? Regardless of my age, that brand is not relevant to me, so it does not hurt AvtoVAZ that I don't know about it.

What about Outlook.com? Where does Office fit as a "brand"? Microsoft practically does 1-3. Maybe there's a reason why we all don't run Microsoft.

huh? how is not knowing the nationality of a brand analogous to someone not knowing Microsoft brands? There is no platform or other value tied to Russia the nation being connected to Lada the car. Whereas, if someone knows that an email service (Outlook.com) is connected to a storage and sharing platform (SkyDrive) is connected to the document and file creation tool (Office) and that Xbox is connected to Skydrive, there's tons of value there.

Consumer awareness of connected brands is so much more vital than most people understand. Any one brand you advertise or the press talks about can be leveraged as free advertisement for all connected brands when that same consumer sees the other connected products. On the one hand you've got GM, which was notorious for its wasted advertising and customer confusion and badge engineering, and on the other you've got Apple which does it brilliantly. Now, I'm a MS user for most things (W8, WP8, Office) and a former employee, but I know when not to apologize for their stupidity. I want MS to succeed among consumers, but until they boldly make branding changes, there's little hope for them to fulfill their potential among consumers.

I miss the days of the artistic Windows Live themes...

I'm guessing one of the requirements was to design a theme based on just two colors.

wingliston said,
You can say that to pretty much any logo. Anyway, the resign looks amazing. I can't wait to try it out.

Not really, the Firefox, Microsoft, Twitter, Google, Adobe logos and so on are pretty distinctive. Some logo's do look like a blatant copy + paste. I liked the old logo better, i find it far more unique.

InsaneNutter said,
It looks like Microsoft took the Google Drive logo, rotated it left then broke it a little.

I think resemblance for google drive logo to recyclable logo is more than bing to google drive.

I quite like their new darker search result, the logo, I'm not too sure about. It's clever, but...

Now what I *really* want is them to expand bing rewards worldwide...