I don't see the problem.  If I search for a location (something that I would actually want a map for), the map comes up in the right margin, and I can click right on it if I want the full-size version.  You can also get to the map choice under 'more' if you want.  Those buttons at the top are context sensitive with the search term.  I see a different set than your picture, but I am on IE8 at the moment.

Maybe someone overlooked it as part of an update.  I don't think MS is phasing out bing maps any time soon.