Microsoft Simplifies Search Web Site

The new version offers a simple Web interface that mimics the one offered by Google.
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) -- Microsoft Corp., seeking to play catch-up in a market where it admits it's been late to the party, has launched a new version of its search Web site with a simple interface that mimics rival Google Inc.

The redesigned Web site,, is swept clean of the mishmash of links and pictures, which can be distracting to the user and mean that the site takes longer to load.

The move comes amid Microsoft's aggressive, $100 million plans to establish a stronger foothold in the field of search, where it faces fierce competition from rivals including Google and Yahoo! Inc.

Microsoft has previously announced plans to offer its own proprietary technology that will take search beyond the Internet, allowing users to pore through E-mails, personal computers, and even big databases.

On Thursday, the company began offering a technical preview of the Web-based portion of its system, for experts and hardcore search enthusiasts.

The move came on the heels of rival Apple Inc.'s announcement that its new operating system, code-named Tiger and due out next year, will include a new search functions that lets people look for data across different types of files.

Until Microsoft's own product is ready for mass consumption, the company said it would offer an improved version of its current search offering, powered by Yahoo! subsidiaries. The new system makes good on Microsoft's previously announced pledge to separate paid search results from those based purely on the relevancy of the requested information.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing