Microsoft has opened up a beta version of its long awaited MSN search engine.
However, don’t expect anything radical just yet as it still appears to be based on the existing Inktomi results of its current MSN search.
The MSN search beta is not in a state to challenge Google at the moment. It seems quite slow and the majority of results are still coming from Inktomi. Although rumoured to exist, in some simple searches we applied we could see no sign of any results from MSNBot.
The system seems to be in some sort of flux at the moment with some sections – such as directory listings or sponsored links down the side appearing and disappearing with each search – even for the same search term. However, some parts at least seem to be consistent.
In general the Looksmart directory listings seem to have disappeared following Microsoft’s recent termination of the contract. What remains are the sponsored links and the web pages. The sponsored sites are now kept much more distinctive from the listings with their own border and background. Mostly these are kept at the top or occasionally down the side as with Google’s adwords.
Source: Tech Blog