Microsoft will redesign its Bing search engine to better reflect social connections while adding speed and improving relevance.

The new Bing will be rolling out in the next few weeks and available to US users by June.
Microsoft has decided to incorporate a new three column approach: the left will display standard search results; the middle will provide a snapshot for more task-oriented activities; and the right will feature a social sidebar to share advice and information with your friends and personal network.

Introducing social search is obviously the major Bing upgrade as it allows users to post and answer questions with feeds from Facebook, Twitter or  Google+ adding to the interpersonal exchange of information.

"Increasingly, the Web is about much more than simply finding information by navigating a topically organized graph of links," said Qi Lu, president of Microsoft's Online Services division.

Lu adds: "We're evolving search in a way that recognizes new user paradigms like the growth of the social graph, and will empower people with the broad knowledge of the Web alongside the help of their friends."

The overhaul of Bing also represents Microsoft's attempt to catch up to Google's staggering 66 percent market share in search, a daunting task from its own current 15 percent share. Yahoo!, according to comScore's March 2012 figures, trails fractionally with 14 percent of the market.

Discuss this further in our World Wide Web forum.