Live Search

From New World Encyclopedia

Live Search
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Search Engine
Owner Microsoft
Created by Microsoft
LaunchedMarch 8, 2006 (beta)
September 11, 2006 (1.0)
September 26, 2007 (2.0)
Current status of siteInactive; rebranded as Bing

Live Search (formerly Windows Live Search and MSN Search) was the name of Microsoft's web search engine, designed to compete with industry leaders Google and Yahoo!. It was subsequently rebranded as Bing.

The search engine offered some innovative features, such as the ability to view additional search results on the same web page (instead of needing to click through to subsequent search result pages) and the ability to dynamically adjust the amount of information displayed for each search-result (such as just the title, a short summary, or a longer summary). It also allowed the user to save searches and see them updated automatically on

Live Search was one service among many such web based services, such as Instant Messenger, Blog, Email, file sharing, and others. While dozens of search engines retired from highly competitive search engine market over the decades, Bing (rebranded Live Search) has maintained its popularity due to Microsoft's continuous progress in technology and market strategies.


MSN Search

MSN Search was a search engine by Microsoft that included a search engine, index, and web crawler. As of September 12, 2006, MSN Search is now Live Search. Live Search offers users the ability to search for specific types of information using search tabs that include Web, news, images, music, desktop, local, and Microsoft Encarta. MSN Search aims to make its over 2.5 billion worldwide queries each month "more useful by providing consumers with improved access to information and more precise answers to their questions." A configuration menu is available to change the default search engine in Internet Explorer, but the selection is sometimes criticized as being limited, and a custom URL cannot be entered without installing an add-on.

MSN Search was first launched in the fall of 1998 using search results from Inktomi. In early 1999, MSN Search launched a version which displayed listings from Looksmart blended with results from Inktomi except for a short time in 1999 when results from AltaVista were used instead. Since then Microsoft upgraded MSN Search to provide its own Microsoft-built search engine results (list of web addresses with samples of content that meet a user's query), the index of which is updated weekly or even daily. The upgrade started as a beta program in November 2004 (based on several years of research), and came out of beta in February 2005. Image search was powered by a third party, Picsearch. The service also started providing its search results to other search engine portals in an effort to better compete in the market.

Live Search

The first public beta of Live Search was unveiled on March 8, 2006, with the final release on September 11, 2006, replacing MSN Search.

On March 21, 2007, it was announced that Microsoft would separate its Live Search developments from the Windows Live services family. Live Search was integrated into the Live Search and Ad Platform headed by Satya Nadella, part of Microsoft's Platform and Systems division. As part of this change, Live Search was consolidated with Microsoft adCenter.

In the roll-over from MSN Search to Live Search, Microsoft stopped using Picsearch as their image search provider and started performing their own image search, fueled by their own internal image search algorithms.[1]

On March 21, 2007, Microsoft announced that it would separate its search developments from the Windows Live services family, rebranding the service as Live Search. Live Search was integrated into the Live Search and Ad Platform headed by Satya Nadella, part of Microsoft's Platform and Systems division. As part of this change, Live Search was merged with Microsoft adCenter.[2]

A series of reorganizations and consolidations of Microsoft's search offerings were made under the Live Search branding. On May 23, 2008, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of Live Search Books and Live Search Academic and integrated all academic and book search results into regular search, and as a result this also included the closure of Live Search Books Publisher Program. Soon after, Windows Live Expo was discontinued on July 31, 2008. Live Search Macros, a service for users to create their own custom search engines or use macros created by other users, was also discontinued shortly after. On May 15, 2009, Live Product Upload, a service which allowed merchants to upload products information onto Live Search Products, was discontinued. The final reorganisation came as Live Search QnA was rebranded as MSN QnA on February 18, 2009, however, it was subsequently discontinued on May 21, 2009.[3]

Rebrand as Bing

Microsoft recognized that there would be a problem with branding as long as the word "Live" remained in the name.[4] As an effort to create a new identity for Microsoft's search services, Live Search was officially replaced by Bing on June 3, 2009.[5]

The Bing name was chosen through focus groups, and Microsoft decided that the name was memorable, short, easy to spell, and that it would function well as a URL around the world. The word would remind people of the sound made during "the moment of discovery and decision making."[6] Microsoft was assisted by branding consultancy Interbrand in their search for the best name for the new search engine.[7] The name also has strong similarity to the word 'bingo', which is used to mean that something sought has been found or realized, as is interjected when winning the game Bingo.

According to the Guardian "[Microsoft] hasn't confirmed that it stands recursively for Bing Is Not Google, but that's the sort of joke software engineers enjoy."[8]

Qi Lu, president of Microsoft Online Services, also announced that Bing's official Chinese name is bì yìng, which literally means "very certain to respond" or "very certain to answer" in Chinese.[9]

While being tested internally by Microsoft employees, Bing's codename was Kumo (くも),[10] which came from the Japanese word for spider (蜘蛛; くも, kumo) as well as cloud (雲; くも, kumo), referring to the manner in which search engines "spider" Internet resources to add them to their database, as well as cloud computing.

Before the launch of Bing, the market share of Microsoft web search pages (MSN and Live search) had been small. While Google retains the largest portion, Bing's market share increased to overtake Yahoo![11]


Interface features

  • Daily changing of background image. The images are mostly of noteworthy places in the world, though it sometimes displays animals, people, and sports. The background image also contains information about the element(s) shown in the image
  • Video homepage for HTML5 enabled browsers on occasional events, similar to the daily background images
  • Images page shows the main picture from that day and four searches that refers to that image with three preview pictures per search term
  • Left side navigation pane. Includes navigation and, on results pages, related searches and prior searches
  • Right side extended preview which shows a bigger view of the page and gives URLs to links inside of the page
  • Sublinks – On certain search results, the search result page also shows section links within the article (this is also done on other search engines, including Google)
  • Enhanced view where third party site information can be viewed inside Bing
  • On certain sites, search from within the website on the results page
  • On certain sites, Bing will display the Customer Service number on the results page

Media features

  • Video thumbnail Preview – where, by hovering over a video thumbnail, the video automatically starts playing
  • Image search with continuous scrolling images results page that has adjustable settings for size, layout, color, style, and people
  • Advanced filters or advanced (query) operators – allow users to refine search results based on properties such as image size, aspect ratio, color or black and white, photo or illustration, and facial features recognition
  • Video search with adjustable setting for length, screen size, resolution, and source

Instant answers

  • Sports – Bing can directly display scores from a specific day, recent scores from a league or scores and statistics on teams or players.
  • Finance – When entering a company name or stock symbol and either stock or quote in the search box Bing will show direct stock information like a stockchart, price, volume, and p/e ratio in a webslice that users can subscribe to.
  • Conversion of units (e.g., 1 oz in tbs, 1 cup in oz)
  • Mathematical calculations – (e.g., 2 *pi *24). Users can enter mathematical expressions in the search box using a variety of operators and trigonometric functions and Bing will provide a direct calculation of the expression.
  • Advanced computations – Using the Wolfram Alpha computational engine, Bing can also give results to advanced mathematical problems (e.g. "lim x/2x as x->2") and other Wolfram Alpha-related queries (e.g., asking the number of calories in a typical pizza).
  • Package tracking and tracing – When a user types the name of the shipping company and the tracking number, Bing will provide direct tracking information
  • Dictionary – When "define", "definition", or "what is" followed by a word is entered in the searchbox Bing will show a direct answer from the Oxford English Dictionary
  • Spell check – Will change frequently misspelled search terms to the more commonly spelled alternative.
  • Best match (plus similar sites)
  • Product shopping and "Bing cashback"
  • Health information
  • Flight tracking

Local info

  • Current traffic information
  • Business listing
  • People listing
  • Collections
  • Localized searching for restaurants and services
  • Localized searching for coupons and deals
  • Restaurant reviews
  • Movies played in an area – When a current movie title is entered in the search box Bing will provide listings of local theaters showing the movie. When a city is added to the search box, Bing provides the movie listings localized for that city.
  • City hotel listings – When "hotels" and a city name is entered in the search box Bing can provide hotel listings with a map. The listing leads to a detail search page with the hotels listed that holds extended information on the hotels and contains links to reviews, directions reservations and bird-eye view of the hotel. On the page with the listings the list can be refined by settings on ratings, pricing, amenities, payment, and parking


Bing is available in many languages and has been localized for many countries. Even if the language of the search and of the results are the same, Bing delivers substantially different results for different parts of the world.[12]

Search products

In addition to its tool for searching web pages, Bing also provides the following search offerings:[13]

Service Description
Advertising Formally known as adCenter, Bing Ads allows publishers to purchase pay per click advertising on Bing.[14]
Events Bing Events allow users to search for upcoming events from Zvents, and displays the date and time, venue details, brief description, as well as method to purchase tickets for the events listed. Users can also filter the search results by date and categories.
Finance Bing Finance enables users to search for exchange listed stocks and displays the relevant stock information, company profile and statistics, financial statements, stock ratings, analyst recommendations, as well as news related to the particular stock or company. Bing Finance also allow users to view the historical data of the particular stock, and allows comparison of the stock to major indices. In addition, Bing Finance also features a JavaScript-based Stock screener, allowing investors to quickly filter for value, contrarian, high-yield, and bargain investment strategies.
Health Bing Health refines health searches using related medical concepts to get relevant health information and to allow users to navigate complex medical topics with inline article results from experts. This feature is based on the Medstory acquisition.
Images Bing Images enables the user to quickly search and display most relevant photos and images of interest. The advance filters allow refining search results in terms of properties such as image size, aspect ratio, color or black and white, photo or illustration, and facial features recognition.
Local Bing Local searches local business listings with business details and reviews, allowing users to make more informed decisions.
Maps Bing Maps enables the user to search for businesses, addresses, landmarks and street names worldwide, and can select from a road-map style view, a satellite view or a hybrid of the two. Also available are "bird's-eye" images for many cities worldwide, and 3D maps which include virtual 3D navigation and to-scale terrain and 3D buildings. For business users it will be available as "Bing Maps For Enterprise".
News Bing News is a news aggregator and provides news results relevant to the search query from a wide range of online news and information services.
Recipe Bing Recipe allow users to search for cooking recipes sourced from,, and, and allow users to filter recipe results based on their ratings, cuisine, convenience, occasion, ingredient, course, cooking method, and recipe provider.
Reference Bing Reference semantically indexes Wikipedia content and displays them within Bing. It also allow users to input search queries that resembles full questions and highlights the answer within search results. This feature is based on the Powerset acquisition.[15]
Social Bing Social allow users to search for and retrieve real-time information from Twitter and Facebook services. Bing Social search also provides "best match" and "social captions" functionalities that prioritizes results based on relevance and contexts. Only public feeds from the past 7 days will be displayed in Bing Social search results.
Translator Bing Translator lets users translate texts or entire web pages into different languages.
University Bing University allow users to search for and view detailed information about United States universities, including information such as admissions, cost, financial aid, student body, and graduation rate.
Videos Bing Videos enables the user to quickly search and view videos online from various websites. The Smart Preview feature allows the user to instantly watch a short preview of an original video. Bing Videos also allow users to access editorial video contents from MSN Video.
Visual Search Bing Visual Search (Announced Sept 2009, deprecated – July 2012[16]) allowed users to refine their search queries for structured results through data-grouping image galleries that resembles "large online catalogues", powered by Silverlight[17]
Weather Bing Weather allow users to search for the local weather for cities around the world, displaying the current weather information and also extended weather forecasts for the next 10 days. Weather information are provided by Intellicast and Foreca.
Wolfram Alpha Bing Wolfram Alpha allow users to directly enter factual queries within Bing and provides answers and relevant visualizations from a core knowledge base of curated, structured data provided by Wolfram Alpha. Bing Wolfram Alpha can also answer mathematical and algebraic questions.

Webmaster services

Bing allows webmasters to manage the web crawling status of their own websites through Bing Webmaster Center. Additionally, users may also submit contents to Bing via the Bing Local Listing Center, which allows businesses to add business listings onto Bing Maps and Bing Local.

Mobile services

Bing Mobile allow users to conduct search queries on their mobile devices, either via the mobile browser or a downloadable mobile application.

Developer services

Bing for Partners enables developers to programmatically submit queries and retrieve results from the Bing Engine.[18]


The Bing Bar, a browser extension toolbar that replaced the MSN Toolbar, provides users with links to Bing and MSN content from within their web browser without needing to navigate away from a web page they are already on. The user can customize the theme and color scheme of the Bing Bar as well as choose which MSN content buttons to present within the user interface. Bing Bar also displays the current local weather forecast and stock market positions.[19]

The Bing Bar features integration with Microsoft Bing search engine. In addition to the traditional web search functions, Bing Bar also allows search on other Bing services such as Images, Video, News and Maps. When users perform a search on another search engine, the Bing Bar's search box will automatically populate itself, allowing the user to view the results from Bing, should it be desired.

Bing Bar also links to, Skype and Facebook.[20]


  1. Chris Sherman, Microsoft Upgrades Live Search Offerings Search Engine Watch, September 11, 2006. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  2. Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft severs Live Search from the rest of the Windows Live family ZDNet, March 21, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  3. Doug Caverly, Yahoo Answers Outlives MSN QnA WebProNews, May 12, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  4. Tamar Weinberg, Keynote with Kevin Johnson at Microsoft Search Engine roundtable, June 3, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  5. Ryan Singel, Hands On With Microsoft’s New Search Engine: Bing, But No Boom Wired, May 28, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  6. The sound of found: Bing! Neowin, May 28 |date=May 28, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  7. Jennifer Bassett, Interbrand names Microsoft's new search engine Bing! Interbrand, June 5, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  8. Jack Schofield, Bing Is Not Google, but it might be better than you think The Guardian, June 8, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  9. Hal Crawford, Binging on search by design MSN, May 29, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  10. Chakkaradeep Chandran, First screenshot of Microsoft's Kumo emerges Neowin, March 2, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  11. Search Engine Market Share Worldwide Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  12. David Wilkinson and Mike Thelwall, Search markets and search results: The case of Bing Library & Information Science Research 35(4) 2013): 318-325. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  13. Explore Bing.
  14. Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft gives Yahoo name top billing in Microsoft advertising rebrand ZDnet, September 10, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  15. Researching With Bing Reference Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  16. Microsoft Kills Bing Visual Search Feature, Discontinues "Web Activities" From July 2012 diTii, May 23, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  17. Maggie Shiels, Microsoft Bing adds visual search BBC News, September 15, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  18. Bing for Partners Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  19. The Bing Bar Live Side, December 3, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  20. Michael Muchmore, Bing Bar 7.0 PC Magazine, February 18, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2018.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Hardy, Q., and V.M. Barret. "Google Vs. Microsoft: The Race to Rev Up the Search Engine." Forbes 178 (11) (2006): 44-49.
  • Townsend, James J., Dmitri Riz, and Deon Schaffer. Building Portals, Intranets, and Corporate Web Sites Using Microsoft Servers. Boston: Addison-Wesley, 2004. ISBN 978-0321159632

External links

All links retrieved November 3, 2022.


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