There aren't many details behind the story or how exactly the debut will be different to the currently available MSN technology preview. Danny states limited details are available and gives a brief history of MSN search.
New AdWords Classifications
"Google will use its predictive modelling to know what words are not going to do well and give them more time to run. Instead of the 1,000 impressions and you're out... this new system may allow terms as much as 10 times more access to eyeballs." ... coming in November
MSN Search Sponsors SES Chicago
Which likely means that they intend to have their technology ready before the end of the SES conference (which starts December 13).
MSN Search Research Block level link analysis (PDF) - talks about breaking page down into each of their visual sections to extract semantical information. Builds upon Hits and PageRank by taking it to the block level.
If this technology takes off it would require those who rent links to use a bit more page space for each link rental by requiring it to be embedded in content. I have already seen some link brokers renting links in this manner.
While Asking Jeeves...
MicroSoft has not publicly stated any great interest, but
Ask Jeeves President Steve Berkowitz suggested he might be open to deal if it was in the interests of the company's shareholders, although he did not comment directly on any offers coming from Microsoft. - source
New MSN Search Features
In addition MSN has added a drop down box to allow people to search for specific things such as movies or news. Elsewhere MSN added its search technology preview to the MSN sandbox.
Paid Inclusion is Garbage
MSN also decided to filter out their paid inclusion search results. (time to edit my ebook again) "We really we want customers to feel the best about the results being served," MSN's Grothaus said.
Google"It's hard to be sure that the end result of the algorithm would be the same and that everyone is being treated fairly," Google's Silverstein said of allowing paid inclusion.
Ask Jeeves"We will continue to get better at crawling," said Jim Lanzone, vice president of product management at Ask Jeeves. "The value proposition of Site Submit has ceased to exist."
More Paid Inclusion is Garbage / Bad Press for Yahoo!
Recently a person I consulted in the past had some of their Yahoo! listings disappear overnight (and from my talking to many other SEOs this is becoming somewhat common). After paying for inclusion into Overture Site Match, my friend's site still does not show up for terms he has shown up for ever since the inception of Yahoo! Search.
He sent them a request question and they gave him a complete crap form letter response that suggested he visit WebmasterWorld to learn more about SEO.
There horrific customer service and near complete disapproval toward the program from SEOs and webmasters has Yahoo! considering dumping or changing the program. (or at least that is what credible sources say)
Quietly at 8:08 pm Friday (Pacific time) MSN announced the launch date for its upcomming search product.
MSN Search Sooner than Expected!
SEATTLE, March 19 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. said on Friday that a new engine for its MSN Search service will start up in July, another step in its plan to challenge Google Inc.'s pole position as the Web's top search destination.
Advertising on the Upcoming MSN Search
Instead of including paid listings within search results, which critics say results in misleading search results, MSN said it will display paid listings separately at the top and to the right of search results generated by its search engine.
Redetzki said MSN will list three paid listings at the top of every search result, of which at least two will be advertisements sold directly by MSN.
Why must people who know absolutely nothing about search write articles about search engines? A recent Zacks article by Steve Harmon states "In my opinion Google has replaced Yahoo (YHOO already. More people use a search box than want to use a `directory` style hierarchy that Yahoo built."
Where has this guy been? Has he not seen Yahoo branding its search product? Their directory is more of a novelty now. When you go to Yahoo its Yahoo Search they are pushing, not the Yahoo directory.
Also has this guy failed to notice Yahoo gobbling up 3 of the 5 biggest crawler based search engines and the number one pay per click engine?
Google may be ahead, but it is certainly not because of Yahoo promoting its directory.
Later he asks "Remember Netscape?" - building a competitive search engine for the entire world knowledge database is most likely a tad bit harder than building a browser.
Then he states "Best bet is for Yahoo and Google to merge and take on Microsoft before Microsoft`s next version of Windows -- nicknamed Longhorn -- debuts with search and other features built in everywhere."
It does not matter if they make search accessible everywhere...it is the quality of the search the led people to Google. If nothing else, pushing MSN search on people will cause more negative press from people critical of MSN.
Just a reminder to those who do not have good Inktomi placement that MSN is to be dumping LookSmart in about a half a month (Jan 15). Some speculate that MSN may want to eventually shift to Ask Jeeves until it gets its technology in order.
I presume that MSN will stick with Inktomi until it builds its own technology. With Yahoo desiring to part ways with Google it is certain they will be investing heavily into making Inktomi a competitive product.
MSN will become competitve and remain so by the natural market forces of competition between Yahoo and Google... until it creates its own search product... You can check your Inktomi placement using Hotbot on its default setting, or by useing Pure Search provided by PositionTech.