MSN Launches Web Version Of Messenger
(via Microsoft Watch)
Also, if you care, MS released a preview of its Avalon display system for Longhorn.
We launched the beta just over a week ago and there’s been a lot of discussion about what we’ve been doing.
Reviews of the beta:
WebProNews notes that the beta feedback has been mixed.
Mike Hall loves the fact that we can help him with his algebra homework.
Angsuman Chakraborty thinks that we released the Beta too early. He also questions the veracity of our site descriptions. I want to respond to this by re-iterating that there is no human intervention in our Index; all results are based on our algorithms.
Cyan Bane is excited for desktop search and likes the results & the UI.
Stingo likes the UI but thinks that our relevance needs work.
Extending the beta:
The first extensions of the beta! Internetreklama has bookmarklets for msn search on IE, Opera, Mozilla & Firefox. Thanks for making these.
SEO Scoop discusses why someone should consider adding MSN Search to their site.
About the blog (which has 249 public subscribers on bloglines, pretty good for 1 week old):
Nathan isn’t sure if the blog is trying too hard or not, but is glad that we are using it.
Mike Manuel has a play-by-play of our first set of posts.
Peter Dawson told us in the blog comments that we should jump on the cluetrain. We're trying!
Finally, a contingent of us made it to the Kirkland Google party last night. I was the mystery blogger that Scoble mentioned (I’m the guy on the right next to Stefan B. of Amazon). It was a great time. Thanks for the party Google & welcome to the neighborhood.
As of Thursday, new Hotmail customers in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the U.K. receive 25MB of storage when they register. Thirty days later, the allowance is automatically upgraded to 250MB.I can't say I disagree with the policy. Spam needs to be fought any way possible, and it's not like anyone will run out of 25 megabytes in just a few weeks.
"We created a storage waiting period to ensure that new accounts are used by qualified customers and are not being generated by spammers or malicious users," said Brian Arbogast, corporate vice president for MSN, in a statement.
So, here is my obvious question: Do you find this post funny, or is Eytan trying too hard. I think the "scaredy-crawler" joke is one thing, but he may have crossed the line with the peanut butter reference :-) Either way, its good of MSN Search to make the effort to inform users. 10 posts in 10 days is quite unusual for a corporate blog, and definitely not the type of friendliness we expect from Microsoft.Now that we have a beta, people are starting to pay attention to whether their sites are in our index. The two most common questions we get are (1) why did you not crawl my site, and (2) you crawled page X, but its not in your index why? Let’s take these one at a time.
Why did MSNBot not crawl my site? The answer to this is not straightforward so I will mention a couple of things that are worth considering. The first is to determine whether your pages are crawler friendly. An example of a page that might look "unfriendly" to a crawler is one that looks like this: http://www.somesite.com/info/default.aspx?view=22&tab=9&pcid=81-A4-76§ion=848&origin=msnsearch&cookie=false. When MSNBot looks at this URL it gets scared (well, not really it’s a machine not a human so it doesn’t have feelings). The algorithm starts to wonder whether it is going to get stuck in a loop endlessly crawling every single permutation of the query parameters. Thus, URL’s with many (definitely more than 5) query parameters have a very low chance of ever being crawled. Another thing to consider is whether we can find your page. If we need to traverse through eight pages on your site before finding leaf pages that nobody but yourself points to, MSNBot might choose not to go that far. This is why many people recommend creating a site map and we would as well. Lastly, you can also use this tool to Submit your URL to MSN Search.
Lastly, a brief moment on peanut butter -- why is it that we stop liking peanut butter after like 8th grade? Or is it just me? I have not had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the longest time. This morning I had one. Yummy. Here’s to peanut butter.Eytan Seidman, Program Manager
Priced and sized modestly enough for a non-wireless warrior, the 3.6-ounce handset is both sleek and packed with features you'd expect from a high-end organizer.
... a surprising counterintuitive plus...
... But the most appealing feature may be the Windows layout. The familiar desktop icons and Start Menu made it less intimidating as I tried out computer synchronization tools that are more common with hybrid phone-organizers that run on the Palm, BlackBerry and Microsoft PocketPC platforms.
... And yet, if you've never used an organizer, the sight of a Windows desktop on the phone may seem more comforting than the prospect of learning a new operating system.
... And if you do use Outlook on a PC, what could sound easier than synchronizing it with a program named Pocket Outlook using a third Microsoft program called ActiveSync?
... But with the Windows phone, I gave synchronization a try, and I don't think it could have been much simpler.
The initial phase of the plan to replace copper cables with fiber is slated to cost $4 billion and make IP-based TV and speedier Internet access available to 18 million of SBC's customers by the end of 2007.You can also check out the press release for more.
Honest and Respectful. We will tell the truth and stay the high road. ‘nuff said.
Useful. We will announce new products, features and releases related to MSN Search. We will answer frequently asked questions, make clarifications, and once in a while we may address a rumor or two. We’ll discuss significant problems and fixes.
Relevant. We will keep the blog current and post when we find that there are things to discuss. We aspire to cover a broad variety of topics over time, and cover a broad range of things that are interesting to you. To do that, the blog has to be…
Personal. Various team members will contribute over time on topics they are passionate and knowledgeable about.
Tantalizing. We intend to maintain a faint air of mystery. :-) Don’t expect us to reveal too much information about the inner workings of our search service, or about upcoming features and product plans. There are practical limitations on what we can say. Besides, it would be boring if we revealed all the secrets at once.
Communal. We would like to build a two-way dialog, rather than a broadcast. So do expect us to listen and respond to your comments, and to solicit feedback on specific issues. You should also expect us to stumble and to learn from it. As an example, I want to modify what I said the other day and not blindly rule out commenting on the nature of our search results; if an explanation is necessary and beneficial to a broad range of our customer community, we certainly reserve the right to chime in.
Constructive. In turn, we ask for your constructive suggestions, feedback, and requests. Thanks to everyone already doing this, it is greatly appreciated!
After a flood of requests from enthusiastic Mac users we're working to get a Mac version out within two months - watch this space!I am very impressed with this product, and will be giving it a tryout. I encourage everyone else to do the same, and let me know what you think.
As you may have heard, some screenshots from an internal pre-release build of MSN's desktop search product were recently posted on the Neowin site. While we're flattered by the attention and interest, this was an unauthorized disclosure. As many of you know, we have been working on a PC search product for some time, and have demonstrated some early prototypes over the past several months. We are still on track to deliver a beta verson of the product to customers before the end of this calendar year. We plan to release the beta bits only when we feel they are ready from a quality and completeness standpoint, and we’re looking forward to getting feedback from beta users at that time.