At Searchification today, Microsoft publically showed for the first time some aspects of Live Search 2.0, including a “quantum leap” in search relevance, with Nadella saying their research shows them equal to Google and ahead of Yahoo in relevance, big improvements in mobile and local (maps) search, and a focus on four key “verticals”: Health, Shopping, Local, and Entertainment.
In the next few days and weeks, elements of the new search features will begin to roll out, beginning with the relevance improvements. Two of the most impressive features, a significant improvement of Live Maps, including Live Maps 3d with Birds Eye imagery built in, and the ability to capture and save 3d “tours”, and some of the new features in the mobile experience, will be showing up within the next few weeks.
We will have a more in depth look at each of the areas of improvement in the next few days, (and highlights of a conversation I had with Satya Nadella, Corporate Vice President for Search and Advertising), which we will also roll out over then next few days. This is an important release, with major improvements to both the core relevance, and the way the information is presented.
This results page, for “Heroes”, shows the clean look, the top videos, which are compressed versions of the originals, showing only the “highlights”, links to relevant sites within the official website, and related sites. Of course it is difficult to capture the experience in a screenshot, as the speed, the video preview, etc, are really what is most striking about the improvements.
While it is far too early to tell what the impact these improvements will make in the marketplace, its clear that Microsoft has taken a big step forward with this release.