Microsoft announced today that it is decluttering the Bing results list page, offering a dramatically simpler user interface that offers subtle, Metro-like tweaks. Today’s changes will appear in the US only, but Microsoft will be rolling out the new results page internationally in the future.

“Based on feedback, we’ve tuned the site to make the entire page easier to scan, removing unnecessary distractions, and making the overall experience more predictable and useful,” Bing principle group program manager Sally Salas writes in a post to the Bing Search Blog. “This refreshed design helps you do more with search—and gives us a canvas for bringing future innovation to you.”

Microsoft provides the following before and after shots to visually describe the differences:

before_after
Before (left) and after (right)

When I say the Metro-like tweaks are subtle, I mean it. For example, the Bing tabs have been replaced by Metro-like links that work like the ribbon tab headers in Office 15:

metro-header

And that little graphical strip at the top is a link to the ever-popular Bing home page image of the day.

Big deal? Maybe not. But simplification to a point is a good thing. The question is whether any much-needed functionality was lost in the transition.