Ok - this is huge - I'm only seeing it on google.com.my (Malaysia) currently - but I'll look around on the other sites soon.
Search for any image term: "widget" for example.
Old behaviour - you get a thumbnail - and a link to the site below - which has the context, advertising etc. This is what I see on google.com
New behaviour: as shown on google.com.my
The image is now HOT-LINKED
and embedded in a gallery window.
This changes everything! - before - a well placed image would bring in traffic - and a enough revenue to cover costs - etc. Now the image is in a gallery (Bing style) - I imagine click through rates will be negligible to the host page, context is lost, any copyright notifications gone, and no protection for the image.
The information from the site is just a small panel to the right.
If this is introduced globally I will have to ban google from images!
[edited by: tedster at 3:11 am (utc) on Feb 6, 2010]