February 1, 2005 (HOSTSEARCH.COM) Today marks the worldwide(1) launch of the new MSN(R) Search, the first-ever search engine built from the ground up by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to help consumers more quickly search the Web and get precise answers. Now available in 25 markets(1) and 10 languages, the new MSN Search service delivers more-relevant results, instant answers to specific questions, and a collection of tools that give Internet users greater control in targeting and refining searches.
Consumers in the United States can experience this powerful service on the redesigned MSN home page at http://www.msn.com . The new home page features a cleaner look and feel and a simplified layout to make information even faster and easier to find. MSN Search now has a more prominent position on the home page, with convenient tabs that allow consumers to quickly target searches to the Web, news, images, music, desktop or Microsoft(R) Encarta(R).
"We're committed to continuous improvement in the speed, precision and ease of use of our search service," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform division at Microsoft. "This built-from-the-ground-up version of MSN Search provides an infrastructure that enables us to rapidly innovate and give consumers precisely the information they're looking for, no matter where it's located."
Instant Answers and Greater Control Over Search Options Give Better Results for Consumers Since the launch of a public beta version of MSN Search last November, MSN has gathered significant feedback to help further improve the product. Features designed to provide instant answers, not just a long list of links, include the following:
-- Instant Answers from Microsoft Encarta. More than 1.5 million answers from Microsoft Encarta, the No. 1 best-selling encyclopedia brand,(2) are delivered inline with other MSN Search results. Answers are provided in categories such as geographical locations, historical and popular figures, definitions, facts, calculations, conversions, and solutions to equations. MSN Search customers in select markets can now view Encarta Premium encyclopedia articles and associated media free of charge for any two-hour session.(3)
-- Instant Answers from MSN Music. Consumers can type the name of a recording artist, song or album into MSN Search and automatically get links to music files and other top content provided by MSN Music. One click allows these MSN Search consumers to sample music, and a second click lets them purchase and download it. This feature is currently available only in the United States.
MSN Search tools that give people more extensive control over how and where they search include the following:
-- Search Builder. These tools allow people to extensively customize searches by emphasizing or de-emphasizing certain search criteria
-- such as a specific site or domain, country or region, or language
-- via a menu of adjustable onscreen dials.
-- Category-specific searching. People can fine-tune searches using category-specific tabs such as Web, news, images, music or Microsoft Encarta. In addition, a new Desktop category tab enables customers with MSN Toolbar Suite installed to expand the scope of their search beyond the Web to include items from their PC such as e-mail, documents and media files, directly from within the new MSN Search service. MSN Toolbar Suite is available at http://beta.toolbar.msn.com .
-- Search Near Me. This feature helps people tailor their search results to a specific geographic location so they receive information that's applicable to where they are or where they want to go. Someone in Rochester, N.Y., who wants to find the nearest library no longer needs to sift through so many online listings for Rochester, Mich. This feature is currently available only in the United States.
Global Campaign for New MSN Search Takes on Exciting Shape To show consumers how quickly and easily they can find precise answers with MSN Search, MSN is promoting the global launch of the new service with a widespread marketing campaign that includes a mix of grassroots promotions and broad-reach advertising. The campaign is expected to reach at least 90 percent of consumers in the United States and several hundred million other consumers globally. In some advertisements on television, the Web and in print, MSN Search comes to life with an animated search bar that changes shape to match unique query terms. For example, viewers will see palm trees sprout at the top of the search bar in response to the phrase "What is the average temperature in Honolulu?" Television advertising is slated to be featured regionally and nationally during high-profile TV events in the United States and other markets over the next several weeks.