Microsoft beefs up Live Search

Microsoft has retooled its web search service to combine text, video and other information onto a single page.

Microsoft beefs up Live Search

Microsoft claims the technology behind its Windows Live search is now competing with that of rival search engines after years of playing catch-up.

“The first step was to have a credible product,” says Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s corporate vice president in the search and advertising platform. “Google has been ahead of us and we believe with this release we’ve caught up and we can compete effectively in terms of search quality.”

Microsoft also says it has broadened its search coverage, quadrupling the size of its index over the past year. It has also worked to improve the core algorithm behind its search engine and better decipher the intent of a query.

The company claims to have focused on improving four specific areas of search: entertainment, health, shopping and local, which according to Microsoft account for about 40% of all searches.

“Microsoft is realistic. It doesn’t think it’s going to wake up tomorrow and overtake Google,” says Allen Weiner, an analyst at research firm Gartner. “Right now, Microsoft wants to establish itself more firmly with its existing users.”

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