Home Microsoft Search Champs: Non-NDA Stuff

Microsoft Search Champs: Non-NDA Stuff

Today I was at the Redmond office of Microsoft and it was an interesting day of
discussions about… well I’m not allowed to say due to NDA. But most of the
last hour of presentations was bloggable. TechCrunch has a
good summary post
, to which I’ll add a few more details. 

Live.com is preparing for more improvements. Program Manager Sanaz Shari
wants it to be “the best place to search” and they are pinning a lot
of their hopes on “gadgets” – which are mini applications, or
“snippets of data” as Sanaz described it. The themes of Live.com being
a “desktop on the web” and making the Web feel like a desktop app —
were hammered home again. 

The most interesting part was the announcement of an upcoming tv
recommendations gadget, which talks to your Media Center box in order to program
tv shows. It also has a nice ratings system. This is an example of some of the
“advanced gadgets” that will be coming soon from Microsoft’s Live.com team and which will
hopefully make it a more compelling experience. 

Another new Live.com feature, that is actually being released tomorrow, is
images integrated within live.com RSS feeds. It’s just a minor enhancement, to make
the current bland homepage a little more colorful. Which it needs 🙂

Also discussed in the ‘bloggable’ part was MSN’s new Adcenter, which
is apparently strong on demographic data. And the demo I saw did have some
impressive charting and analysis tools. So where do they
get the demographic data from? From Passport and lots of other “touchpoints”.

An online classified offering called Fremont was also discussed. It’s a
craigslist-like, localized app based on an internal Microsoft service called
Micronews. Its business model is (what else) contextual advertising and premium

Oh and there was also a lot of passionate debate during the day about recent
US government requests for the major search engines to provide search records
– and specifically MSN’s decision to comply. There’s a bunch of Search Champers
doing a podcast, as I write this, about the privacy issues. It seemed to
get people fairly excited.

That’s a wrap of the non-NDA issues that were discussed at Microsoft Search
Champs today. It’s been a full-on two days in Seattle so far – and tomorrow
won’t be any different!

UPDATE:Alex Barnett and Josh Porter have the privacy debate podcast up on their blogs now. Robert Scoble also covered the issue.

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