Microsoft has introduced a major revamp of its Bing search engine, which features a new method for social search that, it intimates, does a much better job than Google's controversial search plus your world experiment.
The new Bing, which will roll-out over the next few weeks, features a new sidebar on the right hand side of the screen which will bring results from your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Blogger and, yes, Google+ contacts, based on your search query.
You can also use the sidebar to ask a specific question of your Facebook 'Friends who might know,' and that question will be posted to their wall. You can also scour those other social services for blog-posts, tweets or Quora answers from 'People who might know.' In the Activity feed you can join in the conversation and perhaps help to answer questions posted by your friends.
This, Bing says, is "social search done right."
in a rather blatant pop at Google's efforts, which have skewed search results with those from Google+, often placing its social network above more relevant results from other sources, the company said: "Instead of cluttering your results with social updates, we’re honoring the purity of the core web results making it easier to focus on the links you need to get things done."
Beyond the social sidebar, the new Bing also brings a 'Snapshot' section, just to the right of the core results. This gives you supplementary information on your search, relating to restaurants, hotels and the like, which will 'help you act more quickly.'
"Snapshot brings relevant information and services related to your search to you right on the main results page including maps, restaurant reservations and reviews so you can take action," the Bing team says.
"We’ve run thousands of experiments to determine the types of tasks most frequently attempted in Bing, and in snapshot we help you take certain actions when we determine that the intent of your search matches these tasks."
Welcome to the new Bing.