Microsoft has today officially launched its new search engine. The search promises results that are more relevant as well as offering greater control for users wanting to search beyond the web.

The new search engine has spent the last three months in beta and MSN says that it has taken on feedback from customers and refined the search engine considerably since its initial conception.

The final version of new MSN Search provides users with more precise and relevant answers from a growing selection of web documents, images and news sources, as well as expanded access to the online resources of Microsoft Encarta all at fast speeds.

Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president for the MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform division at Microsoft, commented “We're committed to relentlessly improving the speed, precision and ease with which people can locate important information not only on the Web, but anywhere on their PC.

MSN Search now provides tools that give more extensive control over how and where they search, resulting in Microsoft believes will be more precise, targeted results.
One such feature is the “Direct Answers with Encarta” option, which will allow you to ask the search engine specific questions to get specific including definitions, facts lookup (geographical definitions, historical figures, animals) calculations, conversions and solutions to equations.

Microsoft is hoping that were it will succeed over the likes of Google and Yahoo is that it will be parsing pages on the web and at a faster rate than the industry standard. In an attempt to get the most current and up to date stories the search engine will be passing pages every two days rather than every two weeks.

To tie in with the launch of the new search engine, Microsoft has also revamped its homepage streamlining it to increase download times of the information.