Continuing the brand confusion between Windows Live and MSN, it appears that Windows Live Search is not intended as a replacement for MSN Search. This is despite the fact that, as Chris says, "the differences between Windows Live Search and MSN Search appear to be largely cosmetic," and that the two services use the same underlying technology.
The cosmetic changes in Windows Live Search appear to include new widgets to control your search and the display of your search. From Chris:
Sliders allow you to resize search results, adding or removing information such as descriptions, or in the case of images, making thumbnails larger or smaller.As I described in my earlier post, "Different visions of the future of search", it appears Microsoft's web search efforts are going down the path of trying to improving search by giving users lots of knobs and controls and then hoping they will use them.
"Macros" [are] a feature that lets you customize and save searches to be run again ... easy to create and share.
Back in October 2004, MSN Search was about to launch. They were promoting their nifty sliders as a differentiating feature. At the time, I said:
I suspect sliders would be of interest only to power users, the kind of people who already use advanced search all the time. Most users want search to "just work". This kind of control is just a novelty, not something most would actually bother to use.Search engines typically see less than 1% of searches using their advanced search interface. I wonder if MSN Search has seen much higher usage rates of their sliders, data that might cause them to believe that they can get the majority of users to bother with these knobs and dials.