Live Search is Live

The best day to work on a large scale service like Live Search is the day when you launch new improvements.  By that measure, today is one of the best days our team has had in a long time J .


Some folks have had a sneak peak, but for the most part we’ve kept our new Live Search experience under wraps until the time was ripe.  Since March we’ve tested, taken your feedback, iterated, and tested some more. Our goal was to give you search the way you want it, with more features you can customize, better relevance in your search results, and better vertical search experiences.


Now, we feel it’s time to unveil the new Live Search … no longer in beta, and powering searches on both and MSN.  In related news, Live Local Search is coming out of beta, and is too!  Starting tonight we will be ramping the percent of searchers who see Live Search and by Thursday we plan to be at 100%. If you want immediate access head over to and give it a test drive!


What’s new in Live Search:

  • A clean, custom interface – The new interface updates not only the colors and fonts of the service, but the design and layout as well.   The new scope bar enables you to see search results from the Web, images, local maps/directions, videos, etc without having to re-enter your query in the search box.  The scope bar remembers your most recent scopes like Video or Academic so your search experience will feel very personalized.

  • Related Searches help you refine your query by simply clicking on a list of related terms (try Jaguar, Las Vegas, CSI).  We’ve found that helping our customers refine their queries is one of the biggest things we can do to help people find their answers.

  • Image Search delivers a new rich experience tailored for the task of searching for pictures.  It includes: Smart Scroll, which gets rid of pagination; meta data surfaced by hovering over an image vs. having words clutter up your results; dynamic image resizing; related people lists that are addictive (try Oprah Winfrey, Katharine McPhee, Tom Hanks); and lastly a scratch pad for images since we know most people searching on images want access to multiple images and this is a quick and easy way to save your results to access them later.

  • Local Search is getting more robust everyday and this release provides new or updated imagery for 25 U.S. cities, meaning we are covering about 30% of the U.S. population now. There are also some new additions to collections and access to White Pages data. Check out the service or check out the blog for more details.

  • Live QnA beta makes its full public debut! We’ve been out for a bit now but are now baked into the search scope bar and are no longer in a closed beta. We are excited about this vertical because it can bring the community into your search experience; if Web search doesn’t answer your questions right away, get the answer from real people!  Live QnA is particularly powerful due to its tight integration with other Live social services, like Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Spaces.

  • Video Search beta can be found here or under the “More” tab in the scope bar along with a host of other beta verticals like Academic and Product Search as well as links to Live Macros where you effectively create your own search engine, or browse ones created by others in the community (try a macro I created for my hobby Poker – try searching for “Phil”).

So, if you love a stand alone Search page go to the “Search only” page at and use that as your jumping off point to the Web.  If you love RSS feeds and customizing a Web experience uniquely for you use the “Personalized” page at and if you want search paired with a great programmed content experience head on over to

Consumer choice is a good thing…so come search the way you want it. Send us your feedback,  compare us with others in the marketplace, and if you want to learn more about Windows Live go here.

Thanks again for all of those who have given us your valuable feedback and continue to help us innovate, we’re thrilled to be out of beta and off to the races.


Ken Moss

General Manager Live Search