September 21, 2007 3:00 PM PDT

Microsoft leaks its own search plans

Microsoft leaks its own search plans
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A Microsoft employee has posted details about planned changes to Microsoft's Live Search, ahead of an event next week where the company was slated to unveil the changes to reporters.

The changes to the search product, which were demonstrated at Microsoft's companywide meeting earlier this month, include improvements in several specific types of search queries, notably in video search and in searches for products.

In a blog posting on Thursday, Windows Live program manager Akram Hussein demonstrated how the revamped Live Search handles searches for digital cameras, showing not just product details, but also reviews. The new search scrapes details from other sites that have user reviews and other information and presents it from within the search engine.

Microsoft has since taken down the blog, but the folks at managed to capture the images and the details Hussein provided. Microsoft plans to brief reporters at a "Searchification" event next week at its Mountain View, Calif., campus.

Hussein also showed a new celebrity search page, demonstrating how a query of "Brad Pitt" includes a rating system of how popular he is at the moment, dubbed his "celebrity xRank."

Finally, Hussein outlined an improved video search that allows a motion preview of a video search result.

"You can preview videos online by moving your mouse over any video and it will play a preview of the video right away no delays!" he wrote. "Isn't this amazing, at least now you can preview the video before really going and trying to view it, and make sure this is the one you want."

Some of the changes to Live Search have been gradually appearing on the site in recent days.

Hussein, in an apology note that replaced his original blog posting, said his images came from a test build. "Just to notify everyone I apologize for the information it seems they are still in beta and it was like a test roll out so I am pulling off the blog post," he said.

The changes come as Microsoft is struggling to make headway against market leaders Google and Yahoo.

ComScore released its August search results on Friday, showing that Microsoft lost a percentage point of market share compared with July, attracting 12.3 percent of searches. Google gained more than a point, to hold 56.5 percent of the market, while Yahoo slipped two-tenths of a percentage point, to 23.3 percent.

See more CNET content tagged:
video search, blog posting, blog, event, Microsoft Corp.


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Who the hell cares.
Posted by ckurowic (447 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who gives a #$%@#$ about Brad Pitt. That's why Google wins the search wars - it's lean, mean, fast, and clean.
Posted by mjconver (211 comments )
Link Flag
Program Manager?
You know you're in trouble when the manager himself has no idea what's going on.

If you think publishing all the details early was a fiasco, how about these revealing comments from the same guy:
"Just to notify everyone I apologize for the information it seems they are still in beta and it was like a test roll out so I am pulling off the blog post," he said.

It's a good thing he can confess that it's 'they' not him calling the shot's and that he was at least able to find out afterwards about the major developments going on his department.

If this is the competence level required at Microsoft to be a manager, I think I should send my 6-year-old son to apply for the position!
Posted by Techknowhow (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
...Where was version 1?
Ohhhh! Version 1.0 must have been that half baked version we've
been using up till now!

Word of advice to Microsoft: have a properly function product
BEFORE worrying about adding new features ;)
Posted by gsmiller88 (624 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft Web iMovie
"You can preview videos on-line by moving your mouse over any video"... should Apple sue?
Posted by kool_skatkat (982 comments )
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preview videos from seach results??
So you are saying if you seach for a video using a Mac you can preview the results by moving your mouse over it? Are you on drugs?
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft is a fat old man
Microsoft is a fat old man.
Google is a fit youth.

Google can run faster than Microsoft.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
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That is an old propaganda trick. Havent you noticed that every time a new product is gonna be sent to the market there is always an accidental "leak?" Come one, that is an old one.
Posted by DHeraSa (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No thanks
Reviews? I go to review sites for that.
Ratings of people? I wonder what Bill Gate's rating is... Not that I care about celebrities.
In browser preview of video clips? Old news (ex:, and it hogs browser resources.

I'll stick with Google.
Posted by hawkeyeaz1 (569 comments )
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It is in the Numbers
As the owner of 3 web sites my reports show visitors from searches on Windows Live are booming, passing Yahoo and closing in on Google. I have excellent rankings on all 3 and the jump in Windows Live visitors was an attention getter! One must not forget 2 important things. 1. Microsoft is NOW out from under the restrictions of their law suit and can develop products without having to give competitors advance knowledge. 2. Microsoft is the most competitive organization on this planet and search technology is a war they can win. I'm betting that Microsoft has held back any advances on their search technology until the law suit went away. I for one very much welcome someone knocking Google down a peg or 2 and Microsoft is now the only one that can do it. Google's has a free ride for most of their life because of the lawsuit. Those days are over and I'm glad!
Posted by 1webmaster (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
RE: It is in the Numbers
I tried changing my default browser to Live search (from Google search). It was kinda uncomfortable at first. But I'm starting to get used to it. I think I'm gonna try it for a couple of more days / weeks. Then let's see.
Posted by jhoeforth (90 comments )
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