UPDATE: Chris Kilbourn has posted another good case study on TechNet search. 

I'm hearing from the folks on the floor at TechEd that our 3.0 release of search is getting raves. I can't wait to show it off next week to IT folks. Today, co-worker Jeff Day blogged a great story as a case-in-point where a skeptic was turned into a believer.

A few searches to try:

Developers, go to http://search.msdn.microsoft.com and start typing any of these to see our new autocomplete and refinements in action:

  • createw (note that createwindow() is near the top), now execute the search and then apply the "Win32 & COM" refinement. You've now got a very targeted result list of relevant functions.
  • xmldocument.c - the autocomplete is almost like walking the object model in a search box...
  • asp.net sec - autocomplete shows a list of possible searches using terms that you may not have thought about, but other smart people have
  • select - look at all the different contexts in which that term can be used. Adding the SQL Server 2005 refinement will give very different results than adding the FoxPro refinement...

IT professionals, go to http://search.technet.microsoft.com and try these (the autocomplete list and refinements are tuned for each site).

  • exchange sec - again, a list of queries in autocomplete that you may not have thought of on your own
  • microsoft project - shows all the versions of MS Project in autocomplete
  • CPU usage - a very common query, with lots of relevant KB articles, but look at all the OS refinements that can be used to narrow things down
  • Device drivers - execute the query, add an OS refinement (say Windows Vista...) and a source refinement (say KB & Forums) then get an RSS feed to subscribe to results for new KBs and forums posts about Vista device drivers. Useful? I think so.

If you want to stay up to date on what's planned, see the search team's blog.

Note about autocomplete: it's not yet working on the bulk of the MSDN and TechNet sites, so while autocomplete is there when you're in the library today, it's not our new and improved one, which is limited to the search application itself and the new forums and social bookmarking apps. It will get updated in the library soon.

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