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Beta Version Of Microsoft Search Goes Out Thursday

Microsoft will push its homegrown search software into beta tests Thursday, its first real move against Google, sources reported early Wednesday.

At the moment, Microsoft's MSN Web portal uses Yahoo's search engine.

Microsoft has promised that its search engine would have internally developed algorithms and an index built by its own spiders and that it would be live this year. Twice this year it has shown working versions on its Sandbox site, where visitors can test new technologies.

Microsoft will be entering a field packed with extraordinary competition.

"Microsoft's biggest challenge is gaining mind share," said Gary Price with "Google is so damn good at building and keeping mind share that Microsoft's technology could be wonderful and it'll still have a challenge getting people to look at it."

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