Fri, Jul 14, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Microsoft showcases its new Live beta software

TIME FOR CHANGE Microsoft is looking to steal some of Google's thunder by means of two new services which incorporate improved features and functions

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Software giant Microsoft Corp yesterday unveiled the beta version of Windows Live Search and Live.com in Taiwan which feature powerful tools and a personalized interface with which Microsoft hopes to expand its presence in the search market, currently led by Google Inc.

Boasting a new user-friendly interface, Windows Live Search includes different organizational tools and integrates all Windows live services, such as the new Windows Live Instant Messenger, with which MSN messenger users can talk to Yahoo Messenger users.

"The interoperability between MSN and Yahoo messengers will build up the world's largest instant messenger network," Geena Lin (林燕), vice president of Microsoft Taiwan's MSN business division, told a media briefing yesterday.

Currently, Windows Live Messenger has 205 million users globally, a figure expected to rise to 350 million after Yahoo users join the network, Lin said.

Jumping on the bandwagon of the Web 2.0 concept, Live.com is a customized search home page which enables users to organize their interface based on their interests, such as their favorite news, photos, stock quotes, flight information, games and blogs, by subscribing to RSS feeds directly from search results, and viewing search results in the advanced contextual format.

"It's a personalized era, and our new features and functions can meet the demand from users," Chi Li-ping (齊立平), programming manager of Microsoft Taiwan's MSN business division.

Microsoft also strengthened the search functions in Windows Live Search. Users can search a wide range of categories including news, maps, products and images.

It also contains precision tools such as search preview, a detail slider bar that increases the amount of information on the results page, and smart-scroll that enables people to view search results without moving from page to page.

Other tools integrated into Windows Live include Windows Live Mail that allows users get e-mail from multiple accounts in one place; Windows Live Shopping, that users can use to browse products and exchange information with other consumers; Windows Live Local, a free global mapping and search service, and Windows Live OneCare, a self-updating PC care service.

Those programs, as well as another 10 services, will be gradually launched by Microsoft starting in the third quarter of the year, Lin said.

also see story:

Microsoft, Yahoo still ironing out messaging bugs

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