Update: Bing now has an official post about the new features.
Windows 8 is about to get a big dose of Bing, according to reports. We've already seen the return of the Start button in a leaked screenshot of Windows 8.1, the operating system's coming update, but there are some interesting Bing-related changes in store as well.
Search Engine Land's Greg Sterling got ahold of some screen caps of the new experience, along with a description from the company itself, which is as follows:
We think that your search experience should be beautiful as well as functional and we don’t think the two are at odds. Modern search takes the best of Bing multimedia and brings it into the Windows search experience to create something that’s not only useful and well-organized but also highly crafted. You’ll see rich images across all your search results that help you find what you’re looking for faster and help bring order to the vast information on the web. Modern search needs to be functional, and we think it should also be spectacular.
Sterling himself explains, "Bing has incorporated the Windows 8 design into the presentation of content and made it much more visually appealing. Users don’t 'go to Bing' to obtain the new experience; it’s available from any screen. In the old days this deep OS-search integration might have raised anti-competitive concerns; however not in the current climate. And it has competitive implications for Google if Windows 8.1 is successful. However Windows 8 has struggled to date."
Here's a partial look at one of the images he shares, which comes directly from Microsoft. Check the article to see more.
Earlier this month, Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc talked about the operating system update in a blog post, saying, "Windows 8.1 will help us to deliver the next generation of PCs and tablets with our OEM partners and to deliver the experiences customers— both consumers and businesses alike —need and will just expect moving forward. Today, there are more devices – and choice – allowing you to pick the right Windows 8 device that meets your needs. Windows 8 provides a great experience for consuming and creating content, for both work and play and on the go. And you’ll immediately benefit from continual updates – whether it’s from app updates through the Windows Store, performance updates through Windows Update or the Windows 8.1 update later this year."
Windows 8.1 will be a free update to Windows 8 via the Windows Store. It will enter public beta in June. I would imagine the Bing team will be offering up more details on the new experience as it's released.