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Windows Live is Live (in Beta)

Posted by Melanie Phung on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 10:16 pm

So MSN is going to replace MSN Search with Windows Live Search. Windows Live Search is in beta at www.live.com. It’s a radical break in terms of branding, both in terms of the name and the new clean look. If you prefer the clutter of the old SERPs, MSN Search is still available for now.

The Live Search interface let’s you decide if you want to see snippets in the results (or just the title and URL) or determine the size of the thumbnails in image search). The most unique thing is that it doesn’t break the results into pages with 10 results per page; instead there’s this slider thing that basically let’s you scroll down the entire list of results inside a frame. The frame displays 4 to 6 results (depending if you collapse the snippets or not) at a time. I think that feature going to take some getting used to. I’m pretty confident that it’s not going to grow on me — I’ve always disliked having to scroll within a frame.

The nice thing aesthetically, though, is that it all fits above the fold and is beautifully sparse. (I wonder if it will stay that way; Microsoft isn’t known for keeping things clean and simple, as this video so aptly satirizes.)

Plus there are a lot of customization options, including the ability to restrict searches to a set of your favorite sites, which is a feature I really like. (Kind of like Rollyo let’s you do with Yahoo Search results. You can check out my searchroll for SEO hearsay here.)

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