On Wednesday Microsoft launched a test version of its upcoming Web search engine, Windows Live Search, CNN.com reports.
The company claims the revamped offering will help users easily find information at a faster rate, as well as assist in organizing that information, according to CNN.
The announcement is the latest move in the Redmond, Wash.-based computer giant’s ongoing effort to bolster its presence in the Internet-based software and services market.
The move is also an attempt to catch up with the company’s search rivals, Google and Yahoo.
Windows Live Search will be tested at the company’s Windows Live website starting on Wednesday, CNN reports, and once it has been adequately vetted, the engine will replace the one on MSN.com.
An MSN spokesperson told CNN that Microsoft has not decided how long it will test the search offering before moving it over.
Yusuf Mehdi, MSN’s senior vice president of information services, told CNN that a goal of the new search engine is to give users more options when they’re searching the Web.
According to CNN, the following features will be included within Windows Live Search:
-Tabbed Web browsing support, allowing users to leave a number of search boxes open in one single window.
-An adjustable search slider bar that enables users to view bits and pieces of data in a variety of forms, before clicking on the selection.
-A function that displays every search result on a single page instead of on multiple pages, like Google currently does.
-A number of different methods to view photos or other images without ever leaving the search results page.
-A function that stores past searches so they can be performed again in the future.
Joe Wilcox, a Jupiter Research analyst, told CNN that he couldn’t say if Windows Live Search will give Google or Yahoo a run for its money.
“Conceptually it sounds good. Execution will tell all. There is something very alien about the whole keyword approach as the means of finding stuff,” Wilcox told CNN. “So if Microsoft can move away from that and actually let people ask questions, use more natural language … that could really boost the usability of search. That’s the kind of thing that could put pressure on Google.”
For related coverage, read Google Shifts Search Records Out of China, Blinkx to Offer Automatic Search Tool and Oracle Offers Stand-Alone Enterprise Search Product.
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