Announcing MSN Desktop Search

Today we officially announced the Beta release of MSN Toolbar Suite with Desktop Search.  We are excited to hear what you think and to see how Desktop Search gets used.  Check it out at http://beta.toolbar.msn.com when you have a chance and send us feedback!   With Desktop Search you can quickly find files, emails or pictures on your computer.  We hope you find it’s not just a fast way to search, it’s a better way...
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MSN Teleconference on Monday

A press release announcing an MSN conference call has just hit the wires and we wanted to invite all of you to listen in. Yusuf Medhi, MSN VP, will be hosting the listen-in call. We’d love it if you told the blogosphere what you think of Monday’s news. Here are the details for how to call in:  When: Monday, Dec. 13, 2004; Teleconference begins at 10 a.m. PST Call-in number (U.S.): (800) 559-9370 International: +1...
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Visit us at SES

Next week myself and a couple of others are going to be at SES in Chicago. We’ll be doing demos of the Beta, fielding questions and listening to what the attendees have to say. Stop by, say ‘Hi’, and get a t-shirt (we’re right by the entrance). On Tuesday, Eytan will be a part of a panel entitled ‘Successful Site Architecture’ (you have to scroll down to find it). This session will review what a site can do to...
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How do you spell Levenshtein?

Doing a good job of helping Search users to correct misspelled queries is super important for two main reasons: a) 5 billion crawled docs and a bleeding edge ranking algorithm can’t do much if the query isn’t spelled right and b) more than 10% of all searches are misspelled! So we made sure our new search engine included a revamped spelling correction system that’s much better than our old one. To improve the speller we worked...
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Search Beta Extensions

We’ve found quite a few people have added on extensions to the beta.  It’s great to see more people playing with the new engine. Here’s a tool from DEVPPL that can be used to evaluate your rank on the Beta.  Martin created an MSN Search Beta desktop widget. And Ryan has created a Firefox plug-in for the Beta. Thanks for your contributions!    osh  
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Listening to our users

First of all, thanks for your valuable feedback via the website and around the blogosphere.  I read the feedback coming in from the site as a part of my job. Thankfully we’re past the performance hiccup of day 1 – the initial beta instability made for lots of uninteresting feedback!  On the feature request side, we’re seeing lots of interesting ideas, some new and some old. Our advanced user base wants a more...
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One week out and here's a roundup

We launched the beta just over a week ago and there’s been a lot of discussion about what we’ve been doing. Reviews of the beta: WebProNews notes that the beta feedback has been mixed.Mike Hall loves the fact that we can help him with his algebra homework.Angsuman Chakraborty thinks that we released the Beta too early. He also questions the veracity of our site descriptions. I want to respond to this by re-iterating that there is no...
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Crawling the Internet...

Now that we have a beta, people are starting to pay attention to whether their sites are in our index.  The two most common questions we get are (1) why did you not crawl my site, and (2) you crawled page X, but its not  in your index why?  Let’s take these one at a time. Why did MSNBot not crawl my site?  The answer to this is not straightforward so I will mention a couple of things that are worth  considering. The...
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What we will write about

Taking a cue from IE team blog and from Robert Scoble’s Corporate Weblog Manifesto, allow me to lay out some basic principles and aspirations for the MSN Search blog:  Honest and Respectful.  We will tell the truth and stay the high road.  ‘nuff said. Useful.  We will announce new products, features and releases related to MSN Search.  We will answer frequently asked questions, make clarifications, and once in...
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Desktop Search

As you may have heard, some screenshots from an internal pre-release build of MSN’s desktop search product were recently posted on the Neowin site.  While we’re flattered by the attention and interest, this was an unauthorized disclosure.  As many of you know, we have been working on a PC search product for some time, and have demonstrated some early prototypes over the past several months.  We are still on track to...
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