And so the search wars heat up

Maybe you heard, maybe you didn’t, but the latest MSN Messenger Beta (build 7.0.0604) has leaked. There’s a few new features, like a custom status message, but nothing spectacular.

But what I did notice was the fact that MSN Search is suddenly heavily integrated. Look at this screenshot:

Notice how there is a search button below the ‘Send’ button. It wasn’t there before. Look at this this screen for the result that it produces:

You type a search term in your text field, click search, and the results are displayed in the conversation, with a ‘More Results’ link, which of course go to MSN Search.

But the MSN integration doesn’t stop there. MSN Music is also “heavily” integrated. See this screenshot, of a part of my contact list:

As you can see I’m listening to “Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody”. Guess what happens when you click the song? Yep, you guessed correctly. A new window opens with MSN Music results, see this thumbnail (you can click it for a full version):

Maybe there’s more integrated stuff, but so far, that’s all I’ve discovered. Either way, MSN Search will definitely get some more exposure this way. How many users does MSN Messenger have? Like 60 million or so? Imagine 60 million people all seeing that Search buttong and using it. That’s a great boost for MSN Search, and I doubt Google is pleased with that. Maybe it’s time they launch a IM as well, eh?

And Apple should probably worry a little as well. The integration with MSN Music is excellent, and if it starts accepting PayPal, I’ll probably use it myself. It’s just so easy; all within MSN Messenger.

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