Microsoft Inc., the world’s giant software company, this morning unveiled a beta version of its web search engine that it plans to use as its first attack on Google Inc. the leader in the online search market.
The new service, which is available at beta.search.msn.com, is s aiming to boost advertising revenue, and ensure that Microsoft’s services won´t be overtaken by similar offerings from competitors like Google and Yahoo!. The search tool also claims to be heavy on personalization and ease-of-use.
“We think there´s a tremendous opportunity for growth,” said Adam Sohn, product manager for Microsoft´s MSN Internet division, which is developing the new search technology.
MSN search will be pulling results from a database index of more than 5 billion web pages and from Encarta, Microsoft´s digital encyclopedia. In response, Google said on Wednesday that it had doubled its index database to 8 billion pages.
Microsoft is also expected to launch one-click access to its web-based e-mail, and its own desktop search engine tool that will rival a product recently launched by Google.