In the ever-rolling competition between the big three portals, Microsoft has launched several beta version elements of their new Windows Live service. The big one, Windows Live Search, is a full-blown search engine complete with web, news, and image searches. There’s also a local search integrated with Microsoft’s Virtual Earth mapping service, and an RSS search that will find both news/blog feeds and podcasts, which users can add to their Live.com home page.
Live Search also includes related MSN adCenter ads next to web search results, and some fancy interactive functions like a search preview, a slider bar that lets you choose how much search information to display on a page, and a dynamic scroll bar that lets users scroll through all the relevant search results without needing to load another page. The new Live Search is completely integrated with the newly re-designed Live.com.
“We’re unveiling a range of innovations that deliver an outstanding level of power and simplicity to search,” said VP of Windows Live Search Christopher Payne at the O’Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference yesterday, adding, “…the new search service offers customers the next generation of unified services today.”