Microsoft Opens Windows Live Search

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The new search platform from Microsoft officially debuted at Live.com and will also deliver the search results on the MSN website.

There is a lot to play with on the relaunched Live.com for search fans. Ken Moss from the Live Search team blogged about the new search site and its features.

At the main page, visitors can opt to stick with the simpler search box, or switch to a personalized page that places the search box at the top, and content boxes on the page. By default, weather, news, sports, and entertainment appear on the personalized page.

Users can add or change content as they desire. They can also add pages to Live.com and place different content on each page. Those pages can be viewed in the current browser window by clicking on a page’s tab.

Web search results look much like they always have from Microsoft. Sponsored site results appear on the top and the right side of the page. The Live Search team has borrowed the “Related searches” feature from Ask.com’s “Narrow Your Search” that appears on the right side.

Image search uses the new infinite-scroll window seen in previews of Live.com. The way those results appear can be changed by with a slider control to show more or fewer images in the window. Users can choose to filter the results by sizes from a drop-down menu on the page.

A Video Search beta is one of the additional search options that can be accessed from the More option on the Live.com scope bar. Users trigger searches for academic, feeds, or products results by selecting one of those options from the menu.

Once chosen, those extra searches become part of the scope bar for quicker access the next time Live.com is used. Fans of the search macros that have been available for a few months can edit their existing ones or find new ones from the More menu too.

The Live Search team has some tweaking to do with Instant Answers. A web search for “Michael Jordan” brings up news results as an Instant Answer below the sponsored sites box. In our test, the three results that appeared gave us two links for Formula One racing legend Michael Schumacher and one for a Washington State football player named Chris Jordan.

Web search results were as expected, though, and that will be important for Microsoft as its adCenter sales team continues to build up the clientle for that business. They plan to do so by going after smaller businesses, with a heavy focus on local search and its potential benefits to clients.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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