Microsoft is testing a new Bing design that looks more like Google


20, 2017

Bing on the left, Google on the right

Microsoft runs a lot of A/B tests on their search engine, Bing. Many of these end up getting forgotten about for months, sometimes resurfacing after nearly a year. With that being said, we feel like the latest (potentially upcoming) change that we’ve noticed is worth talking about.

Much like many of the older tests, this only shows up for me in a single browser on a single PC. In this case it’s Microsoft Edge on my main PC, although some of the other writers on our team see a few different variants of the design with only a couple of its changes. For example, one person sees the new search bar and logo shading but not the header background.

Old Bing on the top, new Bing in the middle, Google on the bottom.

The new design – pictured above – is a redesigned header section that is seen when searching for things on Bing. The new design I see is particularly Google-y – the search bar gains a soft shadow, the header gains a grey background that divides it from search results even more, and the magnifying glass ditches its colored background, simply turning green instead.

My initial thought was that this was something related to Fluent Design – and it still might be, Microsoft is working on bringing Fluent to the web, after all – but comparisons with both Google and older Bing designs lead me to believe that this is an intentional choice to make Bing look more like Google.

The results are both trivial and inconsequential at the end of the day, but it will be a shame to see Microsoft make Bing feel more like its competitors instead of itself if they end up going with this design. Microsoft has some excellent designers on their side, and they should take pride in their own style instead of tweaking it to look more like someone else’s.

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