Microsoft's MSN division will launch a radically redesigned search engine in July, creating a new front on the company's offensive against Internet search giant Google. Microsoft began testing its new inhouse algorithmic search engine after its MSNBot Web-crawling robots began indexing Web content last summer. In fall 2003, the company opened the MSN Search Beta to testers, offering them an early look at the new UI.
Separately, MSN also announced that it will change the way its search results present paid advertisements, which today can often be mistaken for actual search results. To distinguish paid ads from search results, Microsoft will visually separate ads by moving them to a new column on the right side of the search-results page. "We're making it easy to distinguish between what is a paid link and an unpaid link," MSN Marketing Director Lisa Gurry said. "And we're putting algorithmic results in the top half of results 100 percent of the time." MSN will launch the new search engine and the paid results UI on July 1.