Microsoft has announced that Bing is to go through its biggest redesign yet, with the search engine getting a tune-up.

At an event in San Francisco a new-look Bing was shown off and it seems that Microsoft is to put more of a focus on social updates.

It may be struggling to make a dent in the popularity of Google – it's currently snapped up 16 per cent of the market, compared to Google's 66.4 per cent – but the one thing Microsoft does have in its arsenal is the ability to seed social search into Bing.

Google currently does this with Google+, but Bing still has the indexing rights to both Twitter and Facebook – something that could well prove lucrative for the search minnow.

Embracing change

Microsoft outed the main changes to Bing in a blog, with the service now taking on the mantra: 'spend less time searching and more time doing'.

The social feeds are set to come in the form of a sidebar, which Microsoft reckons is 'never intrusive' as it is now in a dedicated place and not mixed in with the main feed.

Bing will also allow you to ask friends a question within its search functionality – where's Jeeves when you need him? – and there's also an activity bar so you can see posts and queries that friends have decided to share with Bing.

"People have become as important as pages and search needs to evolve to embrace these changes," said The Bing Team in its blog.

"The challenge has been to figure out how to integrate the information you care about with the people who can be most helpful to you in getting stuff done."

The rollout is set to come to the US by the end of the month and the UK should see the redesign soon after.

Google has also been testing some changes to its search algorithm, with some semantic searches popping up for users.