I looked at Microsoft's revamped search page - and design-wise, I find it depressing. The muted bluish-slate color scheme, grayish background (#eff7ff ?!), smallish Verdana fonts, all add up to a sad-feeling web page to me.
If this was a downloadable UI theme, I'd call it: "Neptune Morose".
The search results are still full of spam. Try [hoostabank ringtone] on Live Search, and you'll see spam pages everywhere. Even more amateurish, one of the URLs runs over to the right, and overlaps the ads.
As an adCenter advertiser, I wish Microsoft would improve the ads, but now, they've gone and inserted "Related Searches" for some queries, above the ads. This can't be good, from a CTR perspective.
Overall grade: BLAH.