Microsoft Unveils Search Beta - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Software // Enterprise Applications

Microsoft Unveils Search Beta

Microsoft unveils the beta version of its own search engine, dubbed MSN Search. It does not include some anticipated tools, such as desktop search.

As expected, Microsoft unveiled the beta version of its own search engine, dubbed MSN Search, early Thursday, but did not include some anticipated tools, such as desktop search, that would make it a tougher competitor for rival Google.

The new engine, available here -- not on MSN itself, and so relatively out of the public eye -- accesses more than five billion pages that Microsoft has indexed using its own spiders, offers natural language searching, and includes a tool to provide results based on the user's location.

Although some experts speculated that Microsoft might include a desktop search tool, the beta did not include a feature to dig through files on the PC's local drive. Google last month released a beta version of its Desktop Search, the first blast in the desktop battle between the giants.

The engine debuted Thursday in 26 markets and in 11 languages, said Microsoft.

MSN Search does include some anticipated features, such as a series of three sliders that let users personalize result rankings by setting the degree of match between the user's search terms and the results, the popularity of the page, and the "freshness" of the results.

However, while Microsoft has been promising the integration of MSN Search within MSN by the end of the year, it now appears that the date has been pushed back into early 2005. When Microsoft makes the switch, it will drop Yahoo, which currently provides search results for the portal.

No matter when it finally shows up, MSN Search isn't a "Google killer," search experts said.

"Rightly or wrongly, many people automatically turn to Google for search, and Microsoft will have to do much more than simply launch this initial foray to change the searching behavior of the masses," said's Chris Sherman in a statement.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
7 Technologies You Need to Know for Artificial Intelligence
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/1/2019
A Practical Guide to DevOps: It's Not that Scary
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  7/5/2019
Data Science Salary Survey Reveals Market Shift
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/27/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
Flash Poll