Microsoft Search taps your personal results to battle Google

Chris Burns - Sep 24, 2018, 9:43 am CDT
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Microsoft Search taps your personal results to battle Google

Today Microsoft Search was introduced – or re-introduced – with an eye on searching everywhere, in all things, at all times. This is Microsoft’s biggest effort to take on Google and its all-in integration of services, but with Microsoft’s strong points. That means search in Office 365 documents as well as on-machine and on the web. “Getting pages of results with hyperlinks to other information is simply not enough,” said Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President for OneDrive, SharePoint, and Office.

This is Microsoft’s clearest play for Google’s ever-growing power over search for all internet-connected consumers. Microsoft suggests this new “Microsoft Search” experience will reach across apps and across information systems. That includes the following, so far – with more on the way.

Microsoft Search works in / searches through:
• Bing
• Excel
• Microsoft Teams
• Mobile
• Office.com
• OneNote
• Outlook
• PowerPoint
• SharePoint
• Sway
• Web (Edge)
• Windows desktop
• Yammer

Search boxes for Microsoft Search will appear in “the same spot” wherever you’re working. That’ll mean a significant redesign of several major apps and UIs in Microsoft’s software universe. Users will find this search spot available online and offline – but it’ll be mostly made for online results.

There’ll be “the same organizational search experience wherever you are working.” That includes Windows, Edge (internet browser), or Bing.com (when signed in with the user’s Office 365 account). “Key to delivering the Microsoft Search capability is the ability to have consistent scope of results anywhere you are searching,” said Teper.

Perhaps the strongest point Microsoft’s got here – for power users – is “unified administration of your organizational search results.” That includes “admin-curated results such as bookmarks.” That set of controls will roll out as Microsoft Search rolls out across Microsoft’s many systems.

Microsoft Search in Office.com starts in “targeted release” today. It’ll look something like what you see below.

The new Microsoft Search experience will be available in the newest version of the SharePoint mobile app up for download today. “The new version of the SharePoint mobile app includes search as the default experience when you enter the app,” said Teper. “It lists common questions, personalized results, and frequent searches that organizations can curate.”

Users of several sorts can find the SharePoint mobile app over at Office Products. It’s out for Windows, Android, and iOS. And yes, this does very much appear to be an effort by Microsoft to promote both this new Microsoft Search and push a download of SharePoint at the same time. Good idea, Microsoft, not half bad at all.


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