Microsoft Readies News, Blog Services

Expanding its push into the Internet search space, Microsoft says it plans to launch Internet search services for news and Web logs later this year. The new services, called MSN Newsbot and MSN Blogbot, up the ante in the battle for Internet search market share. Microsoft has already said it is working on its own general Internet search engine, expected to be launched this year, to go head-to-head with Google. The Friday announcements were made at a Microsoft meeting for online advertisers.

“Consumers are saying that they are not finding the results that they want from any search site today. There is a huge room for improvement in the search space,” says Karen Redetzki, a product manager for MSN at Microsoft. Also Friday, Microsoft said it is working on a natural language search engine, dubbed MSN Answerbot. This service will take questions from users and find answers on the Internet, rivaling a similar service from Ask Jeeves. No release date for MSN Answerbot has been set, but Redetzki says it is about three years away.

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