Shared Search on Messenger

Yesterday marks the release of Messenger 7.0 for Windows (and the official launch of Spaces). If you download the new IM client you’ll see that we’ve added 3 ways to search the web. There’s a search box on the buddy window and you can right-click on text in the conversation window, both of these allow you to pick from our verticals. The third way is a new button right under “Send” that allows you to query MSN Search.

If you type something and then hit “Search” (that’s just <tab><tab><enter>) then both you and your croney share the results and see them inline, a shared search. We include Encarta answers, web results and an ad – all of which will spawn a browser window.

This was a tough, but fun feature to work on. Not only was it two different groups collaborating, but everyone had a different idea of what a shared search was. Should the results appear inline or in the browser? What results will people want? We considered adding a search tab underneath or a button on top, but decided that they weren’t discoverable enough. We discussed having a dropdown with more of our verticals, but decided that we didn’t want to overload the feature right out of the gate. I ultimately fought for the current implementation because I loved both its simplicity and that I don’t have to use my mouse to get extra functionality (and apparently both Mick and Andrew are starting to like it)

We hope that you like this addition. Please let us know what you think and how we can improve it in upcoming releases.

 Brady Forrest, MSN Search PM