Yusuf Mehdi, SVP of Microsoft’s demonstrated some previously unseen Bing features. You’ve to watch the videos carefully but there’re a few thing in there. For e.g., in the video below Yusuf shows several new examples of task completion. When he searches for Alaska Airlines, the resulting page offer the facility to check-in for a flight or or check status of a flight. It’s simple stuff, but useful stuff.
Another new feature: type print in to Bing and the visual results page offers the facility to print a boarding pass, or coupons. Type buy and a similar UI links to buying electronics, toys,movies, video games. Yusuf then shared some interesting stats on action following a search. On the PC, the task a person is looking to complete when performing a search gets completed in a 4 week period — demonstrating that people are researching. On mobile it’s dramatically different as you may imagine. 80% of tasks completed in one day and with commerce related tasks, it’s 1 hour.
On a phone we can use use geo-location to help understand intent. After doing a few phone demos, Yusuf returned to the PC demonstrating new shopping mall maps and noting they would be on the phone soon.
At the end of this video, Yusuf showed a search that may have passed some people by in terms of demonstrating the direction search is going.
The second video focuses on visual capabilities now in Bing or coming soon. We get to see an HTML 5 version of Bing with a neat scrolling page that retain the search UI in a pinned title bar. Easier to see than explain. Yusuf then showed some of the existing image search features and some new ones, remarking that search isn’t about blue links any more, it’s about action and completion. Images are a big deal in search as the human eye can detect pictures 400% faster than text
Finally, we saw some social search demonstrations. Today search is one size fits all — everyone gets the same results so Yusuf showed the work Bing has done with Facebook to provide results with input from your friends where it’s relevant. Qi Lu talked about this as making decisions based on 3 types of opinion: Popular opinion, Trusted opinion and Expert opinion.