A beta of the new MSN Search tool is now available. The current index is over 5 billion pages. Cached search results (much like you may have seen at Google) are also provided. So what's different? Check out the "Near Me" button. The Near Me button enables a local search of your query (currently only for the U.S., but this will be expanded). (The browser's IP is used to determine your current location.) A wizard for advanced queries is available using the "Search Builder" button. There is also a results ranking tool to tune the accuracy of search matches, freshness and popularity of the result sets. A settings button allows you to further tune # of hits, etc. A desktop search tool is also planned but is not yet available.
Is it a Google killer? Not yet. Remember this is a beta and more exciting stuff is coming soon (some of it based upon the pioneering work of MS Research). Go ahead and give it a try.