Microsoft has announced a major upgrade to its search engine, with new features to be rolled out over the next month.
The search engine aims to deliver more relevant results, and will combine text, video, news and image results on a single page. The company believes it has now caught up with its rivals in terms of search technology.
The new Live Search results page has been redesigned to show unified search results, with website links, news articles, video and other results shown together, depending on the search term entered.
For example, a search for “Britney Spears” will return recent news about the singer, videos, and images. For searches on consumer products, Live Search will aggregate reviews, prices and information about a product.
In the US, Microsoft trails in third place in the search market, with just 11.3% market share, compared with 56.5% for Google and 23.3% for Yahoo, according to comScore’s August figures. In the UK, the company’s share is even lower – around 3.9% last month.
According to Microsoft’s corporate VP Satya Nadella, the changes will make Microsoft a more credible search rival to Google:
“The first step was to have a credible product. Google has been ahead of us and we believe with this release we’ve caught up and we can compete effectively in terms of search quality.”
As part of the upgrade, Microsoft has broadened its coverage, and now indexes four times as many web pages, as well as altering its algorithm to better anticipate the intentions of searchers with misspelled queries.