Microsoft Unveils Windows Live Search Beta

SAN DIEGO — March 7, 2006 — Today at the O’Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Windows Live™ Search beta, designed to help people simply find the information on the Web that matters most to them. The new search service offers a new innovative design with rich viewing and organizational tools, extensive search categories such as image and local search, and services that help people customize results. Other core technologies that complement Windows Live Search, including an updated version of Live.com and a Windows Live Toolbar beta, were also released today. These services are now available in the U.S. and in select international markets in which feature availability will vary.

Christopher Payne, corporate vice president of Windows Live Search at Microsoft, offered details during a talk at the conference. “We’re unveiling a range of innovations that deliver an outstanding level of power and simplicity to search,” Payne said. “Combined with the rich browsing and integrated searching services delivered by Windows Live Toolbar and Live.com, the new search service offers customers the next generation of unified services today.”

New Tools and a New Design for Better Results

Windows Live Search delivers the results users are looking for via a unique design with advanced tools for helping people quickly find, view, organize and preview search results. Through new features such as search preview, scoping tools, a search slider bar that increases the level of result information on the results page, and smart scrolling that enables people to view search results without moving from page to page, Windows Live Search delivers enhanced control over the search experience. Through simple precision tools, people can search within the context of the task they are performing and ultimately get their answer fast.

Within Windows Live Search, people can also search across specific search categories, including all-new image search, news search, RSS feeds, e-mail search, local search, and searching of MSN® Shopping and MSN Spaces. For example, new viewing capabilities within image search allow people to search across millions of images and receive results that feature infinite scrolling, thumbnail-image-sizing customization, filmstrip view and the ability to see the full image without leaving the results page. All the Windows Live Search categories will offer the same rich user experience for viewing and organizing results. Windows Live Search will also deliver this unified search experience across all the upcoming Windows Live services, such as Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mail.

Empowering people to customize their Windows Live Search service, Payne also launched the Windows Live Search Macros beta, which enables people to save and share specific queries and search scopes and customize their search results. In his presentation, Payne demonstrated how a search macro could easily be created, enabling people to search only their favorite Web sites. Many macros are available today, and macro creation tools will be available in beta shortly.

Windows Live Toolbar Beta Offers Searching and Browsing Tools

The new Windows Live Toolbar offers people the ability to search from any Web page using Windows Live Search while helping them easily save, organize and share the information that they find online. Advanced protection against phishing and pop-up blocking also help people browse more safely while they search. Additional features of the beta include RSS detection and automatic aggregation to a person’s personalized Live.com home page, capability for effortless customization so people can choose and arrange only the buttons they want, and tabbed browsing for quicker Web surfing. The Windows Live Toolbar includes technology from Onfolio Inc., which enables customers to save, collect and share any part or the full Web page of the information they discover while searching the Web.

Live.com Delivers New Design and Integration With Windows Live Search

Live.com, the fast, customizable home page for Windows Live, also released a significant upgrade today, including a new design and features that help users quickly customize their home page, preview content, create multiple pages based on their interests, and add their favorite content from millions of information sources and RSS feeds. For the first time, Windows Live Search is now available on Live.com, as are several new, advanced search services that include the ability to add persistent search results to one’s Live.com home page, subscribe to RSS feeds directly from search results, and view search results in the advanced contextual format. New and updated gadgets are also available, including image search, a clock, Windows Live Favorites, stock quotes and weather. MSN Video and MSN Infopane offer easy access to popular MSN content. Live.com will continue to be updated with new services based on customer feedback. All services are available at http://www.live.com.

About MSN and Windows Live

MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live™, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Windows Live and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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