Microsoft updated Bing’s image search results pages with larger thumbnails and less white-space earlier this year and today, the company is taking this one step further by also introducing a new way to explore imagery on Bing. Instead of loading the actual page with the image after you click on a thumbnail, Bing now brings up a large image viewer that, as the company says, places “the image center stage.”
The image itself does indeed take up most of the screen, with a photo strip of other search results at the bottom and a list of recommended searches in the right sidebar. The actual site the photo comes from has now been relegated to a thumbnail in the bottom right corner. To go the site the photo originated on, users have to click on the site’s thumbnail. While site owners may not love this feature, it is actually a step up from the old system that just featured a link.
One nice feature here is that you can use your arrow keys to navigate between the various images on the photo strip. It’s also quite remarkable how fast the experience is. As Microsoft notes, the Bing team rebuilt the viewer “from the ground up focusing on speed improvements so you can see a picture immediately, without wasting time waiting for the page to load.”
The new image search experience also dims the background to make viewing images easier on the eyes and offers a full-screen mode for viewing the most interesting images up close.
Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured. Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market. Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and...