Live Search gets a new updated look – finally

Live Search’s homepage UI (the blank clean slate one) got updated just yesterday. Now today, so are the search results.

                                                                                 

To tell you the truth – I don’t really like it all that much.

It looks pretty similar (or exactly) to Google’s style of laying it out.

The results are pretty clean and white. No more gray look. Now more of that old and palely light-blue color when you hover over something.

In a way, the simplistic view is kind of better, but it’s also kind of boring.

For the most part, the thing that I have to say that I like about the new look, is that it’s very clean-cut. Google’s been doing it for years, but obviously it works, so Microsoft is giving it a try.

Otherwise than that, I don’t really like that. I really wish they could have done better. Here’s what I think they missed with the new Live Search look:

  • Put more emphasis on the different search querys– I didn’t even notice where Images, News, Maps, and all the other Live Search engines were. On the old UI, they were right at the top of the page, on a horizontal ribbon. In the new one, it’s text just like everything else. So it’s hard to differentiate that at first. I hate that. The search types ought to be displayed on a horizontal ribbon near the top, or under the banner, instead of unnoticed.
  • No universal search – I thought Live Search would start doing universal search by now. You know, the kind of search where you can see web results, image results, news results, and maybe even a map on the same page. All one one page. Ask.com does that, and it’s pretty impressive. So why doesn’t the new Live Search do this? Or have an option for it?
  • Nothing relatively new – Besides a new look and layout, Live Search really hasn’t done anything new. No site previews, no ranking of good or bad sites with thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs, no page slider to dig deeper into the results, nothing that’s really amazing or different.
  • Spyglass icon – I still can’t help but speak up for it, but I still miss the old icon. It defined Windows Live pretty cool, before others started copying. Made Windows Live unique. Now they took it off, and replaced it with a boring ‘search’ button. Talk about boring.

That’s just the gist of it. I’m kind of disappointed that it was just an update to a new/better look, instead of something major. I expect more out of Microsoft.

Here are 2 results from both Windows Live and Google:

                                   

I searched for "Houston traffic" and this is what I got. Live Search still features a full map of traffic in Houston, along with several helpful links under the main sites.

That’s one of the reasons why I still like Live Search a little better : Instant Answers.

So I hope the rest of the year, the Live Search team will work on making new innovative, or at least lovable ways to do web search, instead of waiting for someone else to copy.

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