Live Search QnA moves to MSN platform

Back in 2005 Windows Live was announced and many products were moved from the MSN platform to the Windows Live platform. New products and services were announced including Windows Live QnA. The service name explains it all. Windows Live QnA is a community of users from around the globe asking and answering about anything and everything. When the Windows Live QnA beta first launched it was it's own service on the Windows Live platform, but then moved to the Live Search platform and is now known as Live Search QnA. The move helped gain thousands of new contributors engaging in the community.

However the Windows Live QnA team has just announced that they will be making another move to the MSN platform. As part of the announcement, there are huge changes coming to the QnA community over the next few months:

"Over the coming months, you'll see some changes on the QnA site including a new MSN brand. Even more exciting, with our next release, you'll see a change to how QnA handles "Conversational" vs. "Informational" questions. Over the past few months, we've been testing how best to include conversational questions in the QnA experience and started the program by requiring the conversational tag. We've heard from many of you that you like the change in QnA policy to accept conversational questions but you don't like having to manually add the tag. You spoke. We listened. The QnA team is currently working on the changes so stay tuned for the next QnA release."

The Live Search QnA community has over 5,000 active contributors a day, over a hundred thousand questions, and has Microsoft staff participation on a daily basis. The exact nature of this rebrand is not yet known, but some new names for the service that are being talked about include MSN Answers and MSN QnA. As the service moves to the MSN platform, integration between current MSN services like MSN Money, MSN Music, MSN Autos, and so forth will be interesting. The future of the QnA community looks very bright, and should be interesting to see what Microsoft has in store for us.

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4 Comments

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Do they want QnA to die?? I haven't seen much great improvements to MSN over the years, and I highly doubt any rebranding of QnA would be more successful than it was before (though it's still in beta...)

I think QnA is almost better than Yahoo! Answers, if they'd only speed up development and start adding features users really want. A rebrand won't mean much, if the product is essentially the same. If anything, they should move it to Windows Live, where it makes much more sense, considering how Windows Live is more about users' content and services, rather than MSN's publication content.

I hope Microsoft is playing their cards right. I really think the conversational questions are absolutely ridiculous. "Hey, how's everyone doing today?" isn't a question worth taking up screen space. If there's more serious questions, I'd rather see those. Do the people who ask conversation questions even have a life? I think taking feedback, on a rather small amount of active users (just 5,000?) isn't asking for much. Most likely, these users have formed a bond, and think they OWN the QnA site.

Idiots is all I can say. Why the hell do they think people aren't making use of the "live" branding when they mention products like messenger and hotmail. If MS themselves can't even commit to a branding what chance do they have that consumers will?

Brand recognition takes years. Google didn't become the defacto name in search in a day. If MS isn't going to stick to a branding for the long run they stand no hope what so ever in being able to get users thinking of their services as being "live" as opposed to "msn" ones.