March 8, 2006
They added 2 sliders on the search results. The one at the top decides how many results show up within the pane. The one on the side allows you to scroll down through the pages of results. The results are actually sent to the browser using AJAX calls to speed up download times and they actually get loaded as you scroll down in the results (they are also using it for tracking but are incorrectly identifying my Firefox browser as Netscape).
I had known they would launch this type of interface for images but not for the other types of search. Their image search is a great fit for this interface since images take time to load and you get to decide how many images you want to see at once (adjusting the top slider to increase/decrease the number of results in the pane adjusts the image sizes accordingly). Unlike other image searches, clicking on an image result puts all search results in the left frame and the web page where the image is from in the right frame (and keeps the search interface/box at the top)…this is better since usually, as you search for images, you want to view multiple images. Google’s interface causes you to keep clicking the back button. This interface keeps you moving forward. However, having someway to quickly find the image in the page would be great (jump to it or highlight it somehow…but I’m not aware of any legal/copyright issues, etc). There is, however, a couple of links just above the web page that provides direct links to both the web page with the image and the image itself.
Here is something I’d like to see though: They have reworked the Windows Live Homepage but there is no quick way to get to searches other than we searches (i.e. image searches). You have to search the web first, then select your search type….for all the work they put into the interface, they should have thought of that one as well. The homepage, however, provides a way for you to customize the page with your content … similar to what they have been testing at start.com…which MSN kind of uses like a testing ground (too bad, I like that domain name better).
They have also added Macros. Macros allows you to save and share extended search parameters. For example, I had suggested to them, before launch, an MP3 finder so I don’t know if this one was mine I had suggested or someone else had suggested it before me but. If you click on the link, you’ll see what extra search parameters it does:
((prefer:music | prefer:album | prefer:song | prefer:lyrics | prefer:MP3 | prefer:CD ) (contains:MP3 | contains:wma))
You can then save these macros into live and access them from a drop down. Basically, all you do is add your keywords and these other search functions kick in.
You can also create your own Macros or type them directly into the search box like so: contains:MP3 intitle:”index of” erlkonig.
Anyway, some pretty good search features and better interfaces for some of the searches, in my opinion.
Interested in all their new features? Here is the list they provided me:
* Windows Live Search is a unified search service that answers
your questions with simple precision - giving you the viewing and
organizational tools, customization options, and specific categories
that help you find what you’re looking for - on the Web, your PC, your
local community/geography, your homepage, your mobile phone, etc.
o Windows Live Search delivers precise results via a next
generation design, with advanced tools for helping people quickly find,
view, organize, and preview search results - delivering unparalleled
control over the search experience. With simple precision tools, you can
search within the context of the task you are performing and ultimately
get your answer faster.
* Through new features like search preview, scoping tools, a
search slider bar that increases the level of result information on the
results page, and smart scroll that enables you to view all search
results without moving from page to page, Windows Live Search delivers
unparalleled control over the search experience.
* Windows Live Search delivers rich search categories, such as the
entirely new image search beta, which launches today- with unmatched
viewing and organizational tools. We will have a wide range of search
categories - our leading Local service and new image search beta are
great examples of the innovation we will deliver.
New image search is particularly powerful, enabling people to search
across millions of images and receive simply precise results via smart
scroll, thumbnail image sizing customization, film strip view and the
ability to see the full image without leaving the results page.
* Search customization: Empowering people to completely customize
their Windows Live Search service, a beta of the macros service for
Windows Live Search will also be available, providing powerful tools
that enable people to save and share specific queries, and customize
their search results.
o For example, if you’re interested in tracking the Oscars from
your favorite entertainment Web sites, you can easily create a custom
query that only pulls results from the sites you’re most interested in.
* Ubiquitous search: Windows Live Search will also deliver this
unified search experience across all of the upcoming Windows Live
services, such as Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mail.
* Enabling people to use Windows Live Search from any web page, the
Windows Live Toolbar beta launches today and includes the integration of
Onfolio technology, helping you discover, save and reuse your personal
and professional Web research with collection and organizational tools -
delivering unmatched value for Toolbar users ($29.95 Onfolio product is
* The strategic investment in OnFolio provides users with tools to
enable them to save, collect, and share any part or the full web page of
the information they discover while searching the Web.
* The Windows Live Toolbar beta along with the Onfolio Add-in for
Windows Live Toolbar beta is available now and can be downloaded at
* People will benefit from :
o Client side Research Collections -Onfolio technology allows
consumers to save research collections. As web search becomes more
accurate and common to the way users browse and find information on the
internet today, it becomes important to save this research in an
organized way next to your browser.
o Managing RSS Feeds - For customers who want to keep track of
more than a few RSS feeds, Onfolio’s feeds tab is a convenient and
productive way to organize feeds by topic.
o RSS Aggregator - Onfolio also allows customers to view RSS feeds
in the browser which becomes a central location for consuming online
* Live.com will also release a significant new update, including a
new design and features that help users quickly customize their
homepage, preview content, create multiple pages based on their
interests, and add their favorite content from millions of information
sources and RSS feeds.
* For the first time, Windows Live Search is now available on
Live.com, as well as several new, advanced search services including the
ability to add persistent search results to your Live.com homepage,
subscribe to RSS feeds directly from search results, and view search
results in the best contextual format.
* The combination of next generation design, easy customization,
and unparalleled search services make Live.com the best place to search
on the web today