After being around for barely more than a year Microsoft is on the verge of releasing a pretty big update to their Live Search. As of right now Microsoft is rolling out a Beta version to select testers, and don’t be surprised if you see a new look the next time you visit Live Search.
One of our readers, Siva, managed to snap a screenshot when he received the enhanced interface. Below I’ve embedded the images that he sent me which demonstrate the old and new Live Search, which from what I can tell is moving to a more Google-like interface. If I covered up the blue navigation bar at the top of the screenshot it would probably be tough to distinguish between the Google and Live Search at first glance.
One of the differences you may notice between the two screenshots is that the results that were returned are different despite searching for the exact same phrase. Has Microsoft finally revamped their search engine to display better results?
Another big change is that the main content is completely centered in the browser, instead of spanning across the entire screen like it used to. I’m sure one of the main purposes of this was to get the sponsored links closer to the content, but I surprisingly like having it all in the middle.
Overall, I really like the new slimmer layout. Siva was using Internet Explorer 7 on Vista when he was “picked” to participate in the Beta test, and I’m sure Microsoft is dishing this out to IE users first. So pull up Live.com, do a search, and let us know if anyone else is seeing the new design!
Thanks again to Siva for the tip and the screenshots!