It all started with Akram Hussein who posted details of the new LiveSearch, a little too early. As news broke out, before the people at Microsoft could pull it out, LiveSide already captured some of the images.
Anyway, Searchification came and went and here comes the features and reviews.
- The entire look is more streamlined and organized. SERPs are now simpler thanks to improvements made in colors, typography, spacing and contrast.
- The additions in entertainment, shopping, health, local and video search should keep its users and visitors coming back again and again.
- During the event, Microsoft spoke on and on about relevance. Relevance is a yardstick for finding out how close the SERP is to the keyword/phrase typed.
Andy Beal writes, "MicrosoftĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s new features are welcomedĂ˘â‚¬â€śand much neededĂ˘â‚¬â€śbut we can get pretty much the same from Yahoo and Ask.com, let alone Google. IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ve previously proclaimed that search relevancy is deadĂ˘â‚¬â€śall search engines can help you find what you needĂ˘â‚¬â€śand now I believe that adding sparkly features is dead too. What Microsoft really needs is to build a brand that excites users and fills them with passion. Features are nice, but great brands donĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t need the best features. Google became #1 without any whistles or bells. MySpace is a piece of crap to actually use, but it captured the mind-share of being the Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“coolĂ˘â‚¬Âť social network. Heck, even Twitter has become popularĂ˘â‚¬â€śand you could fit its feature list on the back of a stamp. Branding people! ThatĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s what MSFT is missing. And IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘m not just talking about a cool nameĂ˘â‚¬â€śalthough anything would be better than Windows Live Search. They need to build a brand that incites passion, excitement, and loyalty."
On a humorous note, in the words of ckata, "Now all they have to do is come up with a better name. Saying Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Just MSN Live Search ItĂ˘â‚¬Âť does not work so well as Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Just Google ItĂ˘â‚¬Âť.
As someone who has been following Microsoft and her contemporaries, I am personally most exited about "Live Search Webmaster Portal". This will be built on the same lines as Google's Webmaster Central and Yahoo's Site Explorer.
Microsoft cannot crush the two other search giants leading her. However, the efforts are undeniable. Pages load faster, relevance has improved by leaps and bounds, features etc. All in all, Microsoft is not one to go down without a fight and fight, it sure does well. As Microsoft will be releasing big updates twice a year, it will be interesting to see whether it actually manages to catch up with Yahoo!, if not Google. Speaking of which, within the US alone, Microsoft currently has 11% searchers while yahoo! is 2nd with 23% and Google with a whopping 56%. Sometimes, it does seem unfair that everyone expects Microsoft to crush Google, even before it reaches the same number of searchers as Yahoo!