The LiveSide Blog reports that Live Search is testing out a new feature that allows users to customize the skin or background of the Live.com home page.
The LiveSide Blog has a screen capture of one of the skins, a couple in a lake. If you look at the right-bottom corner of the page, you will notice a link that says, “personalized page.” I assume clicking on that link will give you several background themes to select from.
I asked Microsoft for a comment and they told me:
The background image that LiveSide is reporting on is a part of a test flight. As new ideas come up for testing, Live Search will expose them to a small subset of the user base to see how people respond to them. At this point, we don’t have details around when or if this feature will be available permanently, or more broadly.
Are skins or background themes for search engines new? Not really. Ask.com launched skins for their home page with the Ask 3D launch about a year ago. The Google Personalized home page had personalized themes about a year ago, as well.