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Many things are happening on the search front if you haven't been watching the tech news as of late. Just recently, Microsoft launched the beta to their online search engine at:

I was shocked and chuckled a bit when I saw the simplicity of the page here .... kinda looks like some other site I know. :)

One nice feature was the local search. Not sure if they have to work on the local search. For an example of this working, I typed in “Garage Door”, pretending I needed to buy one (of course) and seeing what results it would give me. At first, I was expecting it to ask me for my local zip code since this was the first time I asked for something locally, but it didn't and for some reason assumed I was located in Huntington Station, NY (I live in St. Louis, MO) and it gave me a list of results focused on this area. So, I clicked the Settings button and noticed that I could modify my location. I wish it was a zip code and that there wasn't a need to type in a city name. I find that Microsoft servers have a tough time with a “St.” in the name. Sometimes the city requires a “St.” and other times it requires a “Saint” - a pain in the rear actually. It was also interesting to see what languages I can get my results in .... English by default ... hmmm ... hey, Finnish! Sweet.

Other news on the search front .... It seems has released photos of the Microsoft Desktop Search tool that they are going to be putting out soon (which will compete with the Google Desktop engine). is the link to see this photos. Pretty interesting. I work in the area of data and one common question that comes up is in the area of confidentiality. How secure is the index of items these tools find? Are *any* results ever reported back to home base ... even if it is only tied to an anonymous user? Very interesting question in my mind.

Posted on Monday, November 15, 2004 4:22 PM Microsoft , Reviews | Back to top

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