A couple noteworthy new tests from Bing have been spotted in recent days. Search engines - and Bing is no exception – test (or in Bing’s terminology “flight”) new features and designs frequently on random users as a sort of live field test.
Bing Home Page Tiles
Similar to the tiles on the Bing for iPad app, Bing's home page test, spotted by WinRumors, contained live tiles for weather, news, maps movies, and search trends. These features are part of an initiative Microsoft announced last September during the beta launch of Internet Explorer 9. Then, like now, the new features revolved around the new technologies provided by HTML 5.
The Bing team wants to create a rich, visually appealing search experience where search feels more like a streamlined app, rather than jumpy Web pages. This streamlined approach has been demonstrated on IE9, fully utilizing all the HTML 5 you can handle.
Bing Integrates Ads In Organic Results
Also spotted in the wild, Microsoft appears to be testing the notion of interweaving paid ads within organic search listings. In screen captures posted to The Rimm-Kaufman Group Blog, ads have been moved from the top of the search results to the bottom of the screen, just "above the fold." This new position is shown in between organic listings #3 and #4.
While not commenting further on the paid/organic mixture, a Microsoft spokesperson has informed Search Engine Watch that Bing is merely testing, as they periodically do.