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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

June 1, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Updated Bing — with more social search — now available to everyone in U.S.

Last month, Microsoft announced it was making its most significant overhaul of Bing since its launch three years ago, unveiling a three-column search results page that can incorporate activities from a user’s social networks including Facebook and Twitter.

Today, that three-column design becomes available to everyone in the U.S. at www.bing.com.

In the new design, the column on the left displays standard search results.

The middle column — which Microsoft refers to as “snapshot” — displays tasks or possible actions associated with the search (for instance, pulling up a map and reviews of a restaurant or the option to make a restaurant reservation if you searched for local restaurants).

The column on the right — which Microsoft calls the “sidebar” — shows actions your friends have taken related to the topic you queried: liking a particular restaurant, for instance, or offering an opinion on best restaurants in the city. And users can post questions and friends can respond from either Facebook or Bing. The sidebar will also list experts and enthusiasts in areas related to the search topic.

Microsoft is launching an ad campaign to tout the new social features as well as its tagline that Bing is for “doing” rather than for just searching for information.

As part of that marketing campaign, the company is also launching the “Bing Summer of Doing,” featuring daily searches designed to inspire people to do something in their communities, according to the official Bing blog.

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