Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The New MSN Search Engine (Beta) Is Now Live

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Nonetheless I am part of the Microsoft Search Champs, a selected group of technology enthusiasts helping Microsoft refine and improve its up-and-coming new search engine, I have been reading news proclaiming Microsoft release of the new technology since early yesterday.

While by this morning the news has reached very wide proportions with many major news media reporting about it, all of these news stories have been completely based on speculation and NOT on any true statement or announcement made officially by Microsoft.

As a matter of fact, Microsoft has promptly informed me yesterday of such unfounded news announcement by the media and gently asked not to join the frey as another whistleblower.

But to my surprise, only a few hours later, Oshoma Momoh of the Microsoft MSN Search team has contacted me and the rest of the Champs to inform me that the news was going to be true indeed, as the MSN Search team had coincidentally rushed to make the release of the new search engine somehow reflect the speculative rumours denied until then. Microsoft further informed me via email about ten minutes ago that I was authorized to now make an official announcement about the new MSN Search Beta release.

So here it is: the new MSN Search (Beta).

Go out and test it right now!

Wondering how can you tell if you are looking at the new MSN Search or at the old one?

Simple enough:

"In the header bar of the results page you will see the MSN butterfly image and the words "Search (beta)" underneath it.

On the main home page you will also see the words "Search (beta)" next to the MSN butterfly image."

If you don't see any of the above, you are still looking at the old MSN Search engine. Give a few hours to the worldwide DNS system to catch-up with this new search destination and you should see the new MSN Search show up on your browser in the coming hours.

Here is a detailed list of all the local MSN Search sites that are going live with the new technology:

Go out and test it.

Check out how it compares to Google and Yahoo Search.

See their new Search options as the Search Builder+ and the Near Me options.

Explore the drop-down menu and the different search "realms" you have available.

Now tell me, what do you think this search engine needs to have to give a run to Google and Yahoo?

What is it lacking that you would have expected to see?

Does the new MSN Search service strike you as a true valuable new addition to the search engines offerings available out there, or do you see this only as Microsoft doing what it is supposed to do?


Two minutes ago (10:49am GMT+1) Oshoma Momoh, General Manager of the MSN Search Program announced publicly on the newly launched MSN Search Blog site:

"On behalf of the MSN Search team I'm very pleased to announce that we've begun the worldwide rollout of our new algorithmic search service Beta release.

I invite you to check it out at and send us feedback via the "help us improve" links.

You can identify the Beta version by the text "Search (beta)" next to the MSN butterfly logo.

This is an update of the service we started building in early 2003.

We released it as a "Technology Preview" in July this year and more recently in early October at to solicit early feedback.

I want to convey a big thank you to all who sent bug reports and feedback on the tech preview... the feedback loop really helped, we learned a lot, and we made a number of changes in response to your suggestions.

I hope you're happy with the results.

If you want to engage in general discussion on the new search service please visit our newsgroup here.

We know still have a lot of work left to do.
We'll keep you updated here as we make progress.


posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 2:49 AM"

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posted by Robin Good on Thursday, November 11 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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