From Windows Live to Live Search to MSN: QnA Updated

By damaster | Posted March 14, 2009 9 comments

We reported almost a month ago that QnA is moving from Live Search to MSN. Today the QnA team officially announced the latest updates to the QnA website, including a new look for QnA with the standardised MSN headers. Here’s a snapshot of what’s been changed:

  • Added new MSN branding
  • Added new question-type selection feature (for conversational or informational questions)
  • Update to the QnA Beta Supplement to the Code of Conduct
  • Update to the spell checker
  • QnA History

    As you can see in the screenshot, QnA has been officially updated with the (new?) green MSN header. The layout hasn’t been modified heavily though and it remains pretty much the same as before. What really frustrates us though is that the link to MSN QnA is still via http://qna.live.com . Typing http://qna.msn.com in the address bar will not get you to the website. Microsoft, if you’re ever going to rebrand something, please make sure the URL does the change too.

    In terms of functionality, what has changed though in this update is that you no longer have to tag your conversational questions as “conversational”, you will now be able to select the type of the question being asked when you post the question, as shown below:

    Conversational

    It is said that the spell checker has also been updated to include additional words to its dictionary.

    For more information on how to determine whether a question is conversational or informational, refer to QnA’s team blog. I expect they’ll move the Spaces address soon to something without the "live” in its name.

    Posted March 14th, 2009 at 3:17 am
    Category: News
    Tags: QnA
    • http://www.liveside.net/members/surilamin/default.aspx surilamin

      If someone knows why it makes sense to move ‘qna’ from Live to MSN, please enlighten me…

    • http://www.liveside.net/members/CalumJR/default.aspx CalumJR

      @surilamin –

      I’d like to know aswell :/

      I think it would go nicely with Kumo.

    • http://www.liveside.net/members/Ryster/default.aspx Ryster

      I thought Microsoft were moving away from the whole MSN branding and changing everything to Windows Live ….. Guess they changed their minds.

    • damaster

      @Ryster: Actually, several Windows Live services had gone through the rebranding back to MSN. Off the top of my head examples include Windows Live Shopping and Windows Live WiFi Hotspots.

      @surilamin: My guess is that Microsoft thinks QnA didn’t really fit Live Search, particularly when it’s adding the “conversational” question feature, it’s moving away from a search vertical to more a content-based portal, and MSN fits that category.

      As to why not rebrand it back to Windows Live, I guess it’s a question of whether QnA is more of something that provides content, or something that provides a software+service experience (I’m guessing the S+S didn’t really fit).

      That’s just my take in trying to make sense why Microsoft made that decision. I have no idea what the official reason is…..

    • http://www.liveside.net/members/Kip-Kniskern/default.aspx Kip Kniskern

      Remember that Live Search isn’t in the Windows/Windows Live org, and hasn’t been since 2007 (http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=339). And since Feb 2008, Live Search, MSN, and Advertising all fall under one org: the Online Services Division, under Qi Lu (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/lu/) and Satya Nadella (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/nadella/default.aspx)
      So this move actually moves QnA back closer to Live Search and not further away from it.

    • http://www.liveside.net/members/Edgar-J_2E00_/default.aspx Edgar J.

      I prefer it on Windows Live.

    • http://www.liveside.net/members/JSYOUNG571/default.aspx JSYOUNG571

      I am getting so sick and tired of Microsoft going back and forth with this Windows Live/MSN crap. The establishment of Windows Live was to bid farwell to MSN. Can we please continue to MOVE FORWARD and quit taking STEPS BACK. Everything should be WINDOWS LIVE. You do not see Google, Yahoo, or AOL switching names back and forth. They are to busy focusing on creating new projects under one brand name.

    • http://msftandthefuture.spaces.live.com/ Quikboy

      Ok, Windows Live QnA and Live Search QnA were both nice, but now MSN QnA is starting to get really dumb.

      When I think of QnA, I think of official published content, with the most user interaction being in tossing in a comment or voting in a poll or something.

      Windows Live is where it makes sense where user interaction is key, and QnA fits that. Live Search can still tap into QnA, just like it does with MSN.

      If they just added some more features, it would definitely be better than Yahoo! Answers.

    • http://www.liveside.net/members/lbastie/default.aspx lbastie

      What about this one: http://gallery.live.com

      Will it be moved to MSN? If they keep it in Windows Live, at least make sure it is branded with the new design…

      Same comment with http://favorites.live.com/