Universal Search Coming to Microsoft’s Live Search

In a blog post last Thursday, originally described by the press as a leak, Akram Hussein, Program Manager of Windows Live Platform, detailed a number of new features of Windows Live Search 2.0 that are expected to be rolled out on September 26th at Microsoft’s Searchification 2007.

Searchification 2007 is a half–day event that will include a general session with senior product leaders, demos, and a webmaster tools session. In a later blog post Hussein clarified that his post was not a leak but rather the result of the confluence of an early test rollout and an astute and enthusiastic user.

All of the cloak and dagger, leaky plumbing stuff aside, here are some of the features that early test users (Akram Hussein) have spotted. Although he removed his original post, Liveside.net captured the changes already being tested “live,” so to speak.

They are yet another spin on universal search. For example, images and news will be moved directly onto the search page along with product popularity ratings and reviews for products pulled from review sites. Searches for people will include more search results, images, and a celebrity rating. Searchers will soon be able to see just how “hot” or “not” those headline-grabbing celebs really are.

Where there is video, it will begin to play a preview as soon as the mouse is rolled over it without the usual delay. This feature should appeal to the growing number of video enthusiasts.

Overall there will be more search results found. Do note that more search results do not necessarily translate to more relevant search results. That is to be seen as more users come in contact with this new version of Live Search 2.0. For search marketers, this is yet another example of why it is important to optimize all types of Web files – images, news, video, and audio.

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