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MSN Search Service Beta Now Available

On behalf of the MSN Search team I'm very pleased to announce that we've begun the worldwide rollout of our new algorithmic search service Beta release.  I invite you to check it out at and send us feedback via the "help us improve" links.  You can identify the Beta version by the text "Search (beta)" next to the MSN butterfly logo.

This is an update of the service we started building in early 2003.  We released it as a "Technology Preview" in July this year and more recently in early October at to solicit early feedback.  I want to convey a big thank you to all who sent bug reports and feedback on the tech preview... the feedback loop really helped, we learned a lot, and we made a number of changes in response to your suggestions.  I hope you're happy with the results.

If you want to engage in general discussion on the new search service please visit our newsgroup.

We know still have a lot of work left to do.  We'll keep you updated here as we make progress.


Oshoma Momoh
General Manager, MSN Search Program Management


  • Evan, at least they're not at the top ;-)
  • Doesn't work at all
  • Why roll out a search beta with Yahoo's engine ( It makes sense to wait, even if you are slower to market, because it is truely your own technology, not someone elses. So I guess in 6 months (microsoft time, 1 year) you'll be redoing it all to use "Microsoft" search technology.
  • Did you think it may be a good idea to validate the HTML and CSS on this blog to try and improve cross browser compatability?

    RE MSNSearch - Aside from all of the unavailibility issues that have already been mentioned, I just wanted to say - best of luck with it.

    I for one am hoping to see some more MSN referrals in the future.

    One question I do have, is regarding the "Search Builder - Results Ranking" that you guys have implemented.

    Is my stats software going to be able to decipher the search terms used if the special "Results Ranking" has been tweaked with by the visitor?

    It would be really lame if the referrals looked all messed up because of this feature.

    Anyway - Best of Luck with the new MSN Search!
  • Great engine, please make it more easier to go to the next page, I need to look for the "next" button. For the rest, excellent.
  • Viewed page source on the search entry page. Noticed that it's doctype XHTML strict and CSS-driven; nice and structural. Bravo guys!
  • Not a bad start, once the service got going sometime after 9:30 am PST. Prior to that it seemed to be only single-word searches that returned hits.

    The sponsored links are still too prominent. They need to be de-emphasized. The hit links are themselves a little too big as well in my opinion.

    The image search looks fine. I appreciate the ability to select B&W content. Some questionable content was returned, even with the content filter set to maximum.

    The front-end design looks attractive. I'm unclear how and when the "near me" option actually appears.

  • Google more evil than satan?
  • I know you've heard it, but you need to hear it again: you stole your interface from Google.

    As I was dutifully beta-testing MSN Search, I found it difficult to gauge the relevance of the search results, being too distracted by how thoroughly you have ripped Google off. Without looking at your stylesheet, I wager it looks something like this:

    "@import url(;
    a:link {font-weight: 600;}"

    A sterling example of innovation in the Microsoft tradition.