MSN isnt alone in eyeing desktop search. Google reportedly is working on a desktop search product, and Ask Jeeves Inc. in June acquired another startup, Tukaroo Inc. Click here to read more about how startup companies are releasing new desktop and e-mail search applications."Our intention is to answer a question wherever it resides," Osmer said of MSNs product. "The walled garden is no longer in existence, and this will not be Microsoft exclusive." As far as its new Web search technology, MSN in late June launched a public preview of its search engine based on its crawler and algorithms. MSN plans to take down the preview after Aug. 9 to review feedback from Webmasters, Osmer said in an earlier interview. From there, it will refresh search features and the Web index, which at 1 billion Web pages is currently far smaller than Googles 4.28 billion-page index. MSN plans to launch another technology preview, followed by a beta version of its Web search, by the end of the year, Osmer said. MSN Search, which underwent a recent redesign, currently retrieves its Web results from Yahoo Inc.s search technology. Meanwhile, MSN on Wednesday said it would offer a beta version of its blogging service to customers in Japan. MSN officials said they have no information on when Microsoft plans to broaden the beta to the rest of the world. In addition, MSN also has not said when it plans to offer the service commercially. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
Along with the Lookout technology, MSN is drawing on internal development work and from Microsoft Research and the Longhorn team, Mehdi has said. Osmer said MSN will be offering its own, separate product from the search work being undertaken for the Longhorn Windows release.