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Will Windows 8 Change The Search Landscape?

6:34 pm on Jan 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

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There's a feature of Windows 8 that has a potential of changing the way search is performed. My reasoning is primarily because of the saturation of the O/S in desktops. laptops, and if they get a foot-hold in mobile, then there too.

With Windows 8 we don't need to open a web browser to search the Internet. From the desktop there is a full screen search app to do the job. Results are not presented in the traditional manner either. They are displayed as rectangular tiles. I do like the design, layout and flow overall.

However there is one aspect of this search app I'm not liking. Results are returned vertically whereas the flow of the design encourages one to read the results horizontally which for westerners is our natural method of eye movement - from left to right then onto the next line.

So for example if your site appears in spot #3 in Bing results in a browser based search it would actually be more like spot #9 or #12 if one reads results naturally left to right. It will be variable depending on screen width.

Over and above the display layout I think this has a very good potential of decreasing google's dominance when (if) Windows 8 becomes widely adopted.

Has anyone else considered this and what are your thoughts and observations?
12:46 am on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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You're referring to the Bing tile? I've been using Windows 8 since the RTM, and I'd never bothered with the Bing app. I had to go look for it to give it a try. On my desktop setup I rarely access the Metro interface of Windows 8. Perhaps if I were on a tablet I might find more use for that interface.

The SERP layout certainly is different. It would take me a bit to get used to. The horizontal layout limits the amount of info on-screen at a given time and I find it harder to scan quickly.
5:21 pm on Jan 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Yes I was referring to the Bing tile, I should have specified that. In fact when I reinstalled the O/S (just because) I immediately unpinned and uninstalled a bunch of pre-installed apps. The Bing search tile was one. However it doesn't remove it from the right hand charms menu (although it can be hidden there too).

Yes the SERP layout is radically different but as with everything new that comes along I typically give something time before I decide whether or not I like it. I still alternate between browser search (Firefox) and Bing full screen search via this Bing app. I especially like the horizontal layout for image search. It's easy to scroll through the horizontal results with the mouse scroll wheel. For example I went looking for spectacular images of Norway landscapes and can then scroll horizontally continuously uninterrupted. Clicking one will give me a full screen preview in a separate tile with full image details and a page title and URI that contains the image. Clicking on that link takes me to the site.

I do have a 24" wide monitor set to highest resolution so I can squeeze a lot of text tile or images into my space.

I'm warming up to it more each day, it's refreshing and uncluttered.