As you may have heard, we have been working away on a question and answer service for Windows Live Search. Yesterday a few pages for the beta signup were posted by accident so we decided to get the word out formally and open up the beta invite page at http://ideas.live.com today. You can get a lot more detail on the QnA team blog at http://spaces.msn.com/liveqna, but here is a quick summary of why we’re so excited about this service.
This new Windows Live Search offering will help consumers simply find what they need, from a large community of helpful and knowledgeable people. This allows consumers to tap into the power of the online community by facilitating a melting pot of human knowledge that isn’t easily accessible or available on the Internet today.
Some key features include:
• Providing a place for people to ask any question, get credible answers and vote on the quality of the responses on any given topic from the Windows Live QnA community.
• People can rate answers and reputation-based scoring is available so you know which sources to follow.
• Questions are tagged so others can easily find similar or related questions and answers.
• Together we are creating a store of human knowledge containing facts, opinions and experiences on topics ranging from business, health, arts, sports, technology and more.
Ultimately, QnA will be deeply integrated with Windows Live Search, providing a rich, integrated searching service – enabling you to search and find answers on the Web, or from experts on any given topic as part of your search experience.
Windows Live QnA beta is the latest example of our efforts to continue to redefine search to make it faster and more relevant for our consumers with live connections to information they want. We want to put the consumer in control of their search experience, customize it for their context, present search results in the most usable format, and empower users to make their own choices.
Also, in case you missed it last Friday, Microsoft is now syndicating Live Search results to A9.com and Alexa. We are very excited to be chosen by A9 to provide this service for their innovative site. This agreement further validates the growth in importance of the Windows Live Search service across the Internet.
As always we welcome your feedback and be sure to sign up for the beta!
General Manager, Web Search