Bing has released a new version of their home page that removes some clutter, adds mobile-friendly elements, and moves most navigation to the explore bar. This move and other experiments may indicate that Bing HTML5 is coming soon.
Bing's New Home Page
Bing has been testing new versions of their home page that look quite similar to this since March, with at least a couple iterations worth noting. However, as of this week the new version seems to have become official.
The big difference is that the left navigation has been moved to the explore bar at the top. Additional minor changes include increased prominence for the "popular now" items and the back/forth navigation arrows as well as the Facebook "like" button having moved to the top-right.
I like what Bing's done with the page. It's cleaner, it allows focus on the pretty pictures they always show, and the top bar is a lot closer to consistent in each of Bing's divisions. What are your thoughts?
Additional Experiments and the Path to HTML5
Bing is also running some other tests on an alternate look and feel for the search engine results page and some of the Bing verticals. The main emphasis of these changes seems to be a mobile-friendly interface.
This may be creating a user-experience framework that Bing can then integrate the long-rumored HTML5 features into. It could also be that Bing is hoping to get a new version ready for release at the Microsoft Build conference later this month. That conference will also, according to rumor, showcase the Windows 8 Samsung tablet, which could explain why most of the design changes seem aimed at a mobile-friendly experience.