Chris gives you our overview on the new MSN Search technology. Meanwhile, I've been banging away to see how search syntax and other features hold up. Here are some early findings:
+ Microsoft is claiming an index size of greater than 5 billion fully indexed web pages. Google increased their total page count to more than 8 billion pages last night.
+ The new index offers access to many file formats but you're unable to limit to a specific one. (ie. filetype:)
You're also unable to limit by:
Note to MSN: Please add these.
+ I've tried several searches using the "near me" option and haven't found the results to be very useful.
+ You can refine your image search results directly from the serp and view either color/black & white. You can also refine by image size.
+ Boolean? Yes
NOT or -
OR or |
+ You can plug some/any/all of the syntax available via the Search Builder directly into any search box.
Example: Loc:au (Australia)
Example: Language: fr (French)
Larger number (0-100) places more emphasis on the match between your exact search words and your results.
Greater number (0-100) means more links to the page.
Greater number (0-100) means more likely updated recently.
+ Phil Bradley mentions that nested searches with parethesis work and the database has a 10 term query limit (same as Google)
+ The "Settings" page offers an option to either increase to 3 or decrease to 1 the number of inline results viewable on a results page.
+ NOTE: As of 8.30 AM EST I'm unable to get the following features to work. Opening day jitters? Using define
++ The news release mentions that for some "ready reference" (example: What is the capital of Turkey) queries an ANSWER will be presented at the top of the results page with material coming from Microsoft's Encarta encyclopedia. Good idea, but not a new one. Ask Jeeves has been offering this with their Smart Answers program for over a year.
+ Remember, it's only a beta. Google or Yahoo killer? I agree with Chris, it's not. However, aren't several large web indexes a good thing from the searcher point of view? Do only one or two automobile manufacturers exist? It's wonderful to have another unique web index online. The more the merrier. It will be interesting to see the overlap with Google and Yahoo.