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Microsoft Launching Windows Live Search

Okay, so this has been about two days coming, but a project of this magnitude takes time, so I’m going to post on it before it is complete.

What am I talking about? Windows Live Search. Today, Microsoft is launching the next version of its search engine, at Live.com (or search.live.com for search purists, literally the cleanest search interface in history). Right now, you might get it, you might not, as the data replicates accross servers.

This isn’t a new search engine, but rather the eventual successor to MSN Search, and as far as I know, running off the same index and algorithms. However, the interface is a lot cleaner and integrating with all the products on Live.com.

Live Search makes heavy use of AJAX, something we haven’t seen much of in mainstream search engines. The search box glows when you roll over it, and the results on Live.com actually overlay the rest of the page.

In results, there are two important sliders. The top, horizontal slider, lets you choose how much information you want in a search result. Right now, you have three options:

  • Title
    Snippet/Description of page
    URL
    Search within this site
  • Title
    Snippet/Description of page
    URL
  • Title
    URL

Pulling the slider instantly changes through the options.

As for the other slider: Notice something missing, something you normally see in every single search engine? That’s right, there are no pages! In every engine, you scroll through 10, 15, 20, 50, 100 results, and then click for the next set. In Live Search, the vertical slider gets pulled or clicked (or you can use the mouse wheel), and you scroll on and on through the results. Forever.

It just keeps going and going. The page never reloads, although there is a slight delay every 20 results (I suggest they bump it up to 50, so its less noticeable). At any point, hit the Home key to get back to the top. I’ve found its faster to scroll by pumping the Page Down key than using the slider, but you can’t actually read the search results by going that fast. The ads even change as you pass every 20 results.

Right now, Live Search has Web search, News search and Feed search, with tabs for Images (not here yet, and I’ve got some things I wish I could say about that) and Local search (forwards to local.live.com). You can add any search to Live.com, and add any feed from Feed search.

But wait, there’s more…


Links:
Chris Sherman
Richard MacManus
Robert Scoble
Todd Bishop
Elinor Mills

March 8th, 2006 Posted by | General, Live, Search, Windows | 3 comments



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3 Comments »

  1. If you log onto your Live.com account, and do a search from your live.com page, you can then do an image search. (Unlike trying to do an image search from search.live.com, which isn’t up-and-running yet).

    That image search is HAWT, ain’t it? I’m really liking the interface they’ve got for both its results pages and the regular search.live.com results pages. That “infinite scrollbar” approach is attractive and slick, the way the new items populate the page.

    They do need to work out the scrolling when you’re viewing results after doing a search from live.com, though — right now the arrow keys end up scrolling the entire web page, rather than just the results.

    Also works well in Firefox, which is mainly what I’ve been using to play with it, since I don’t have IE 7 on this computer.

    Where’s the links to the new Live Toolbar disappear to, though?

    Comment by Stu | March 8, 2006

  2. I tried out windows live search this morning and was quite impressed. I saw that a new toolbar was available to coincide with it and decided to try it out also. To my surprise, it completely removed msn desktop search from my computer. This came with no warning and no upgrade is offered. I had a pretty large index, so I am quite disappointed with this.

    As far as I know, desktop search is not offered by msn as a separate install than their toolbar. So I guess I am left with either going back to the old version of msn toolbar or using another desktop search utility.

    Just thought you and your readers might want to know about this.

    Comment by Dan | March 8, 2006

  3. The Updated Beta of Windows Live Pleases Me…

    Trackback by Tom's corner | March 12, 2006

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