MSN Search Beta Set to Launch

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-11-09 Print this article Print

MSN is ready to turn its Web search preview into a full beta test—a precursor to replacing Yahoo in coming months.

Microsoft Corp.s MSN division on Thursday will launch a public beta of its Web search technology, according to sources familiar with the plans. The beta will expand on MSNs technology preview of its new search engine that has been available through the MSN Sandbox site. MSN launched a second preview last month with a Web index of about 5 billion documents after conducting a smaller two-month test earlier in the summer. Sources said that the beta will add "more bells and whistles" to MSNs previous previews and will be more widely available. The launch this week will not involve MSNs desktop search, which is slated for release in December, the sources said.
Click here to read more about MSNs desktop search plans.
MSN plans to run its search-engine beta site concurrently with its existing MSN Search site until the technology is ready for a full launch, sources said. MSN Search draws its results from Yahoo Inc.s Web index and search engine technology. MSN has not set an exact date for the switching over to its search technology, but MSN officials since the summer have been saying it will occur in the next 12 months. Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., began working on its Web-search technology in June of 2003, when its MSNBot crawler started appearing in Web-site visitor logs. The company has invested more than $100 million on search, and company leaders including Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer have promised to aggressively compete in the Web-search market. MSNs full entry in Web search is expected to heighten competition among the three largest Internet services—Google, Yahoo and MSN—each of which will run separate crawlers and indexes of billions of Web pages. Yahoo earlier this year dropped Google search results in favor of its own technology. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.

Be sure to add our enterprise applications news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel