Bink is reporting that MSN have shut down their search engine preview. The preview had been made available for members of the public to test it out. Developers left the following message :
"Thank you very much to all of those that tried our service and sent us feedback. We will make improvements based on the suggestions we received. Once we are ready, we will release another preview of our new algorithmic search engine. On a related note, we have a site that has previews and betas of upcoming MSN technologies: The MSN Sandbox. Visit the MSN Sandbox and try out our new MSN product ideas."
Microsoft's search engine is very important to them; the search engine market is one where they face an up-hill battle to win customers back from market leader, Google. Critics of Microsoft's search offering say that their service and results is inferior to that of Google. Clearly, a highly objective issue and something hard to validate either way.
However, one can draw on one very recent example of problems with MSN's existing search offering. A Microsoft technology evangelist, Robert Scoble, posted a blog entry about how the MSN search was superior to that of Google. Giving the example of a query on an API name, his suggestion was that it is not true that developer searches are better on Google than Microsoft. The query, ran on Google, correctly linked users to a relevant MSDN article on it. The MSN search, however, linked straight back to Robert Scobles blog entry on the subject.
Perhaps the system needs just a little more work.
View: Robert Scoble Blog Entry