Windows Live Search Gets an Interactive Interface, Sort of

SMS Text

If you think the Live Search Cashback was a silly program to promote its search engine, Microsoft might be doing unusual again with the redesign of the Live Search portal. Guess what the redesign is all about?- Background images, which according to the Live Search Team was made to “to find the best way to enhance users’ sense of discovery, surprise, and delight while balancing engineering realities for a great user experience.”

As if those background images were not enough to desecrate their search portal, Microsoft has even made the images interactive of sorts by peppering it with hotspots which when clicked will display bits and pieces of information about the image as well as link to related search results.  In addition, the images  changes randomly,  so as not bore users with the same background image.

Microsoft however assures its users that the images will not in any way interfere with their search activities. The hotspots would gleam when the first time the Live Search page loads and slowly disappears into the night as the user do a search. To make it appear again, users just have to mouse over on the hotspots. Now, that’s very reassuring and, should I say innovative (not!)

Try it out and see for yourself whether it is cuil, I mean cool or uncool. I’m getting the image below and try hovering your mouse on to the head of the man – it’s a hotspot for info on Okavango Delta in Botswana. What a nice place to put that Hotspot, really.


Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google,, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building three niche blogs covering iPad News, Google Android Phones and E-Book Readers.
Arnold Zafra
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Sean

    Okay, I get that you don’t like it, but instead of peppering your pseudo-reporting with snarky “(not!)” and “really” (as if you’re some sort of bad SNL skit), why don’t you actually explain what you think and why think that way.

  • Alphane Moon

    “Today we’re releasing the new home page in the U.S. only”, so I can’t see it today …

  • Michael Farley – AmplifySEO

    We’re definitely seeing a trend towards creativity in simplicity. Google’s home page has always been simple. Simple is good. Simple is easy to grasp. Simple works for everyone short of the a Rockstar fueled technophile.

    I however think it’s time for more, not a Yahoo!esk version of more but a creative yet simple more. A tasteful interface. Cuil is a great example of this and what Microsoft is doing with Live Search is another example.

    I for one am ready for the change.

  • MelC

    @Alphane Moon – You can see it if you change your Live Search location setting:

  • Erik Cunningham

    Personally, I like the photo and the hotspots. Unfortunately they have nothing to do with my search topic. I can see this technique adding value to a site like National Geographic or the Travel Channel, but not on the homepage of a major search engine.