MSN Launches New Internet Search Service Designed to Give More-Precise Answers in Less Time

Consumers Can Find Information More Easily via Redesigned, Search-Optimized

Feb 01, 2005, 00:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today marks the
 worldwide(1) launch of the new MSN(R) Search, the first-ever search engine
 built from the ground up by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:   MSFT) to help consumers
 more quickly search the Web and get precise answers. Now available in 25
 markets(1) and 10 languages, the new MSN Search service delivers more-relevant
 results, instant answers to specific questions, and a collection of tools that
 give Internet users greater control in targeting and refining searches.
     (Photo: )
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     Consumers in the United States can experience this powerful service on the
 redesigned MSN home page at . The new home page features a
 cleaner look and feel and a simplified layout to make information even faster
 and easier to find. MSN Search now has a more prominent position on the home
 page, with convenient tabs that allow consumers to quickly target searches to
 the Web, news, images, music, desktop or Microsoft(R) Encarta(R).
     "We're committed to continuous improvement in the speed, precision and
 ease of use of our search service," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president
 of the MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform division at Microsoft.
 "This built-from-the-ground-up version of MSN Search provides an
 infrastructure that enables us to rapidly innovate and give consumers
 precisely the information they're looking for, no matter where it's located."
     Instant Answers and Greater Control Over Search Options Give Better
 Results for Consumers
     Since the launch of a public beta version of MSN Search last November, MSN
 has gathered significant feedback to help further improve the product.
 Features designed to provide instant answers, not just a long list of links,
 include the following:
     -- Instant Answers from Microsoft Encarta. More than 1.5 million answers
        from Microsoft Encarta, the No. 1 best-selling encyclopedia brand,(2)
        are delivered inline with other MSN Search results. Answers are
        provided in categories such as geographical locations, historical and
        popular figures, definitions, facts, calculations, conversions, and
        solutions to equations. MSN Search customers in select markets can now
        view Encarta Premium encyclopedia articles and associated media free of
        charge for any two-hour session.(3)
     -- Instant Answers from MSN Music. Consumers can type the name of a
        recording artist, song or album into MSN Search and automatically get
        links to music files and other top content provided by MSN Music. One
        click allows these MSN Search consumers to sample music, and a second
        click lets them purchase and download it. This feature is currently
        available only in the United States.
     MSN Search tools that give people more extensive control over how and
 where they search include the following:
     -- Search Builder. These tools allow people to extensively customize
        searches by emphasizing or de-emphasizing certain search criteria
        -- such as a specific site or domain, country or region, or language
        -- via a menu of adjustable onscreen dials.
     -- Category-specific searching. People can fine-tune searches using
        category-specific tabs such as Web, news, images, music or Microsoft
        Encarta. In addition, a new Desktop category tab enables customers with
        MSN Toolbar Suite installed to expand the scope of their search beyond
        the Web to include items from their PC such as e-mail, documents and
        media files, directly from within the new MSN Search service. MSN
        Toolbar Suite is available at .
     -- Search Near Me. This feature helps people tailor their search results
        to a specific geographic location so they receive information that's
        applicable to where they are or where they want to go. Someone in
        Rochester, N.Y., who wants to find the nearest library no longer needs
        to sift through so many online listings for Rochester, Mich. This
        feature is currently available only in the United States.
     Global Campaign for New MSN Search Takes on Exciting Shape
     To show consumers how quickly and easily they can find precise answers
 with MSN Search, MSN is promoting the global launch of the new service with a
 widespread marketing campaign that includes a mix of grassroots promotions and
 broad-reach advertising. The campaign is expected to reach at least 90 percent
 of consumers in the United States and several hundred million other consumers
 globally. In some advertisements on television, the Web and in print, MSN
 Search comes to life with an animated search bar that changes shape to match
 unique query terms. For example, viewers will see palm trees sprout at the top
 of the search bar in response to the phrase "What is the average temperature
 in Honolulu?" Television advertising is slated to be featured regionally and
 nationally during high-profile TV events in the United States and other
 markets over the next several weeks.
     About MSN
     MSN attracts more than 360 million unique users worldwide per month. With
 localized versions available globally in 40 markets and 20 languages, MSN is a
 world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising
 opportunities to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online
 service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make
 the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at . MSN worldwide sites are located at .
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services
 and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
     (1) The new MSN Search is available in the following markets: Australia,
         Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, India,
         Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South
         Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United
         States. MSN Search features vary from market to market.
     (2) NPDTechWorld(SM), March 1993-March 2004. Based on total U.S. retail
     (3) Access to Microsoft Encarta content varies by market.
     NOTE:  Microsoft, MSN and Encarta 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.
                 MSN Search: The Search Engine With the Answers
     Smarter than a game show champion and faster than an Olympic athlete, the
 new MSN(R) Search, which U.S. consumers can access on the redesigned MSN home
 page at , uses the power of Microsoft(R) Encarta(R), the
 No. 1 best-selling encyclopedia brand, to go where no search engine has gone
     Instead of offering just a long list of links that consumers have to sort
 through, MSN Search provides people with real answers to many of their
     Don't believe us? Here are a few things you might want to ask MSN Search:
        Dictionary Definitions
        Define punctilious.
        What is a kinkajou?
        Who shot Abraham Lincoln?
        When was the Persian Gulf War?
        What is Michelangelo known for?
        Who was George Washington's vice president?
        2y^3 + 4y -10 = 9
        cos 45 degrees
        5 !
        What is e?
        Who won the Super Bowl in 1977?
        Who is LeBron James?
        How many inches are in a mile?
        How many pints are in 18 quarts?
        Popular Culture
        Who is Dan Rather?
        Who is George Harrison?
        Who are the Beatles?
        What is The New York Times?
        Geographical Data
        What is the life expectancy of women in Japan?
        What is the mass of Jupiter?
        What is the height of Mount Everest?
        What is the capital of Australia?
        What is the Brazilian GDP?
        How many calories are there in spinach?
        How much fat is in strawberries?
        A Music Lover's Dream
        In addition to providing answers, MSN Search offers music fans a fast
        and easy way to find music and news about many of their favorite
        artists. Just typing the name of a recording artist, song or album into
        MSN Search automatically links the user to music files and other top
        content available from MSN Music. With just one click, consumers can
        sample music -- and a second click lets them purchase and download it.
        Some popular music searches include these:
        "Songs About Jane"
        "Like a Virgin"
        "Brand New Day"
        Stevie Wonder
        Jessica Simpson
        Pearl Jam
        Counting Crows
        So, whether users are trying to find out the population of Europe or
        the latest Top 40 hit, the new MSN Search gives them precisely what
        they're looking for -- in less time.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.