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Microsoft Searchification

Which was the bigger event for Microsoft this week? The launch of Halo 3 for Xbox 360 and the chance to have bagged an autographed copy from Bill Gates at Bellevue Wa.’s Best Buy? Or the company’s inaugural Searchification event where it debuted a new version of its search engine?

It was only a year ago that Microsoft rolled out the first version of Windows Live. This year’s edition showcases a raft of improvements.

Do a search for digital cameras on the new Live Search and you’ll uncover not just product details, but also product reviews. You can preview videos online simply by hovering your mouse over any screenshot and it will play a brief intro without delay! For search marketers, this is yet another example of why it is important to optimize all types of Web files – images, news, video, and audio. A new vertical Microsoft is focusing on is entertainment with an xRank celebrity ranking feature that will let you track the movers and shakers. Is Paris Hilton more popular this very moment than Britney? Live Search will tell you. What could be more important?

Microsoft’s version of Google’s Webmaster Central toolset is on tap for November. The initial version of the tools include a robots.txt validator, information on what pages of the site are most important to Live Search, what pages link to and from the site (ranked in order of importance), and when the site was last crawled. They say they’ll tell you if they find you’re spamming, although details were sparse. You can also submit a sitemap or ping Microsoft when the sitemap has changed.

No announcement has been made about the $10 billion Microsoft is rumored to be contemplating for a Facebook acquisition.

The new video site is here.Check out the changes here: A preview of coming attractions in Microsoft search is here. [24×7]

Microsoft Unveils Office Live Workspace

Microsoft Corp. will launch its best-selling Office suite of products into Web space today. A new Beta version called Live Workspace heralds a new era of online computing capability for Office users allowing online storage, editing and file sharing of Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Office users can upload 250 megabytes of storage to the Microsof cloud, room enough for 1,000 average Office documents.

Users who wish to collaboratively edit an online text file must open the document using an installed copy of Microsoft Office. Workspace wasn’t intended as a standalone program, but rather a companion service.

Got a Hotmail, Xbox Live or another Microsoft account? You can use that information to log on to Workspace and send invitations to others on our contact list.

The service is compatible with Office 2003 and Office 2007, and users will be able to save from Office to the Web site and open files they’ve stored online.

Don’t confuse Office Live Workspace with Office Live, the set of tools Microsoft has devoted to helping small businesses build Web sites and manage online advertising campaigns. To avoid confusion, the existing Office Live will be renamed Office Live Small Business. [24×7]

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