New look for Live Search? Has Rome arrived?

UPDATE #2: Looks like this must have been just a test, as the new UI isn’t available anymore.  Since it only worked in IE7, and not IE8 or Firefox, probably a good indication that there’s still work left to do.

Looks like LiveSide member Quikboy has stumbled upon the new look for Live Search, which appears to be live as we speak, as I am getting it too:

rome1_thumb News

First glance shows that the new search is very responsive, hard to tell right off the bat whether it is faster or not, but it seems so.  One new feature seems to be the scratchpad in images: (update – ummm not new, see below – still cool though)

rome2_thumb News  

Pictures can be dragged from the Image results window to a collection, and collections can be named and multiple collections can be opened at once.  Not sure at this point how these collections will be shared, etc. at this point.

Also of note is the new header, with a much smaller header bar and a new search icon:

rome3_thumb News

I’m sure we’ll have much more to say on the new search improvements soon, but for now good catch Quikboy!

UPDATE: OK oops some of these changes are not new, guess I should be using Live Search more ;)  – the UI has definitely changed – hopefully we’ll be seeing more than just a new header bar soon (pulled the additional post as it wasn’t new stuff.  my bad :) )