Microsoft Is No Threat To Google -- Yet

If the new search's loads of glitches are fixed fast, it has huge potential.

In the past decade, searching the Web has grown from an academic experiment to a multibillion-dollar business. Microsoft has not been a player, being content to outsource its MSN Search service to rival Yahoo! Now, Microsoft is offering a homegrown search engine, but, despite some nice touches, it has a long way to go to challenge industry leader Google.

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A public trial of the new service launched on Nov. 11, and it has some very rough edges that suggest it was pushed out before it was quite ready. Still, it's a big improvement over the old Yahoo-powered MSN Search, which is what you still find at the standard MSN search page and the MSN Toolbar. To use the new service, you must go to beta.search.msn.com. There you will see a simple, clean search form. You type in your search term and click either the "search" or "near me" button. The first runs a standard Web search. The second restricts the scope to a city or region.

View: Microsoft's Beta Search Engine

News source: BusinessWeek Online

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