Last week I was at the Microsoft TechEd Developer Conference in Orlando.  It was a great chance to talk with a lot developers about MSDN Search, to get feedback, and to show off what we've been working on with autocomplete, refinements, and more. Here's a summary of what I heard:

  • MSDN Website Search is improving.  It was nice to hear lots of positive feedback about recent search improvements. Admittedly, expectations were pretty low given problems in the past, but hearing positive things from users of Search is a welcome change.
  • Need to make search results clearer. I heard lots complaints about how hard it was to know, from looking at a search result, what it relates to.  This is particularly problematic between different versions of the same product, or when APIs have the same name (e.g. Button) in different namespaces or classes, but search result titles don't make the difference clear enough.
  • Need to fix search in Visual Studio.  I also heard lots of complaints about the Visual Studio IDE search experience. One typical example: "Great, the website search experience better, but most of the time I'm inside Visual Studio-- why can't you make that better too so I don't have to go to the website to get good search?" Good question... and something we're looking into. :-)

The primary developer who works on MSDN & TechNet search, Tim Shakarian, was there at TechEd too.  Together, we recorded a short webcast video: What's New with Search on MSDN and TechNet  In the video we talk about some of the features of search, show a quick demo, and talk about how Search works under the covers. Finally, I briefly touch a few upcoming changes planned for search.

Anyway, hope you like the video, and keep sending us feedback (either via blog comments or via the feedback form http://blogs.msdn.com/msdnsearchblog/contact.aspx) about specific features you'd like to see or problems you find. For bug reports, remember to include the URL of the search results page where you found the problem, and the specific search query you were using. Thanks!