The MSN Search Weblog has some info on the Encarta Answers you get on 1.5 million MSN Searches. Here’s what’s so cool about it, besides the fact that you get direct answers to your searches:
One of the biggest things weâ€™re doing with the new MSN Search is giving a 2 hour â€œfree passâ€ to all Encarta encyclopedia articles whenever you click an Encarta link on an MSN Search page. This means that all clicks from Encarta Answers and algorithmic links in MSN Search will give you free access to all the encyclopedia articles in Encarta and their associated media for 2 hours.
And, any time you go back to MSN Search, do another search, and click on an Encarta link, weâ€™ll reset your free pass back up to 2 hours.
Here’s some searches they show up on:
– What is the population of Sweden?
– What is the largest volcano on Mars?
– Who is Nolan Bushnell?
– How many calories in spinach?
– How many inches in 2.5 feet?
– x^2 + 4x – 17 = 32
– What is cryptozoology?
– What do elephants eat?
– When was the Hundred Years war?
– Who won the World Series in 1920?
– What is a fear of cats?
– How much vitamin C in an orange?
I love these. They don’t take away from searches, they’re always right, and they allow the algorithm to concentrate on general web pages and not weighting dictionaries and encyclopedias too high. Plus, you have to agree its cool of them to give it away for free. Once you do any search on Encarta Premium, you can browse the entire encyclopedia for free for two hours, and when that’s expired, just run another search. Who’s going to say that isn’t a nice value?