Don’t like the backgrounds available on Ask.com? No problem. Now you can upload any image you want. For instance, maybe you’d like this one!
The new background feature is part of the skinning ability launched as part of Ask3D last year.
The other engines offer some customization features as well.
You can upload your own image and create themes with iGoogle. While iGoogle’s feature is more versatile (as the documentation says, “This makes it easy to create a story that unfolds throughout the day, landscapes that change as the sun rises and sets, and abstract images that become more complex.”), it requires an XML file and the steps include a suggestion to read the developer’s guide, so the audience is likely a bit different than for the Ask.com feature. (Indeed, the iGoogle API enables you to create themes that you can share for others to use, as opposed to being specifically for letting you customize your search experience. Those not well-versed in XML can pick an existing theme to spiff up their searches.)
Neither Yahoo nor Live provide options for uploading background images, although they do let you change the layout and background colors.