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Google's SearchMash Gets Features & Microsoft's Sexy, Experimental Ms. Dewey Search

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Ms Dewey

Google's experimental search engine SearchMash has gained some new features while the sexy Ms. Dewey search engine is now outed as Microsoft's experimental search engine.

Ms. Dewey came to light last month. I spotted it via the Google Operating System blog, checked it out and promptly dissed it as a waste of time at the end of a Daily SearchCast episode on Oct. 16.

The site features an attractive woman who stands above a search box:

Ms Dewey, Waiting For Your Query

She makes funny jokes from a set repertoire. My favorite is when she raps on the glass of monitor to get your attention, if you don't do something after awhile:

Ms Dewey: Anyone Home?

If you don't do anything, you eventually find her telling you:

Hello. Type Something Here

If you don't get a move on, another chuckle. But how about the search features? OK. I entered:

who won the elections today

I got told (in words on the screen, not by her):

Ms. Dewey is thinking

Then after literally a minute, I finally got my answers:

Ms Dewey & Search Results

The answers come from Windows Live Search. Over there, they come up in three seconds. For the minute Ms. Dewey took, I got nothing special in return. She doesn't read the results to you, nor make them better. She's kind of funny, but not funny enough for me to spend more than a search or two with her. Then the novelty is gone. So go have fun, but I doubt you or anyone will be spending tons of quality time with her.

When I first saw the site, I had no idea who was behind it. Then yesterday, AP had a story, On the Net: Searching With Ms. Dewey, explaining that Microsoft was behind the site and put it out there hoping it gets "discovered."

Discovered, yes. Bemused, yes. Routinely used, I doubt it.

Less sexy but more functional, Google's experimental SearchMash site that we covered last month has gained some new features. Again, a nice catch via Google Operating System.

In Ionut Alex's example over there for a search for magic, a new refinement area shows up at the top of the page suggesting another query (and some related results) to try:

Searchmash: Top Of Page

Using the "show details" option, this box can be made bigger. For most queries, I found it doesn't appear at all.

Meanwhile, the main box with search results can be made smaller, condensing the results by using "hide details" option:

Searchmash: Bottom Of Page

Image results now move to the bottom of the page, while two new boxes show up where images used to be on the right hand side. One of these can be expanded to show Wikipedia results:

Searchmash: Side Of Page

The other is already open and asks for feedback.


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