Thursday, July 01, 2004

New MSN Search launched

It's being widely reported (Yahoo News, FT, and more) that MSN has launched its new search engine.

The best write-up I've seen is by Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineWatch. John Battelle also has a write-up focusing on paid inclusion.

If you want to try MSN's new search, it's available in the MSN Sandbox. MSN Search isn't expected to be powered by this search engine until into 2005. As Danny Sullivan says:
    The new Microsoft search engine is NOT -- NOT NOT NOT -- being used at MSN Search. It can be confusing, because along with the search technology announcement, Microsoft has also announced a new look and feel for its MSN Search site. Despite these cosmetic changes, under the hood, MSN Search itself still beats with a Yahoo heart.
Reviews of MSN's new effort so far have been lukewarm at best. Danny Sullivan had this to say:
    The new search engine also leaves me with a "more of the same" feeling. It doesn't take search results anything beyond what Yahoo, Google or Ask Jeeves already do, and given their maturity, do better. In fact, a fast run of the tested queries through Gigablast -- a one man effort by Matt Wells -- makes you think MSN still needs to catch up to even that service.
But, to be fair, it's early. MSN Search may be an also-ran right now, but they've got a massive development effort behind them and intend to try to differentiate themselves soon. And it appears that personalized search will be their primary means of differentiation. From the MSN's message about their commitment to search:
    A Personalized Experience. Your Search service should learn from you. What you like, what you read, where you live. Search should deliver results that are more personal and relevant to you.

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