We just released an update to MSDN Search and TechNet Search with many of improvements!  Here's what's new:

  • Improved Performance
  • Matching refinements listed under each search result
  • MSDN Code Search Preview
  • Easier to expand searches to "Entire Web" / Microsoft.com
  • Include English Results
  • What Else?

Improved Performance

This release has over 1/3 fewer HTTP requests and over 15% reduction in bytes on the wire, plus improved caching for faster performance. Response time, especially outside the US, will improve significantly.  Users in Asia may see response time drop in half!

Matching refinements listed under each search result

Now, each result lists the refinements which apply to that result. In practice, this means you'll know what product and technology each result refers to. For example, searching for select on MSDN shows that the first result is from the Win32 and COM library, the second is the HTML documentation, and the third is in the Excel Knowledge Base.  

R5 Results 2

This works for versions too, for example, try searching for SELECT Examples.  Note that even though there are pages for SQL 2000, SQL 2005, and SQL 2008, you can easily tell them apart by looking underneath each result.

R5 Results 2 

And if you want to see only results for that product or version, just click on one of the "related to" items-- they're live links which will apply that refinement to your search.

MSDN Code Search Preview

The Code Search Preview button takes you to a results page on http://msdn.krugle.com/, which is a new site we've partnered with Krugle.com to build for searching code on MSDN. It's still a work in progress (hence the "preview") but for now it lets you search code snippets inside the MSDN Library. We're working on putting more code in there (e.g. code in forums, from codeplex.com, etc.) in future releases.

For example, here's a screenshot of code search results I might use when searching for code for a custom Visual Studio debugger visualizer.

MSDN Code Search Preview screenshot

 

Easier to expand searches to "Entire Web" / Microsoft.com

With one click, without having to go to another page or search engine, you can now expand your search to the Entire Web or to all of Microsoft.com. Just click one of the links above the search box. One click gets you right back to where you started. For example, here's a search for CSS rounded corners.

Search Box and Refinements Area

Here's the same search after you click Entire Web

Search Box and Refinements Area Entire Web

This is a great way to quickly see what else is out there before deciding to try another search on MSDN & TechNet. Note that refinements are disabled in Entire Web mode because we don't know which sites out on the internet relate to which technologies-- but when you switch back to MSDN or TechNet search, your old refinements are still intact.

"Include English Results" checkbox

This lets you decide, if you're searching in a non-English langauge, whether to show only your language's results, or also include English results too.  This lets you add or remove English (and go back again) with a single click. For example, here's a Spanish-only search for messagebox, refined to Visual Studio 2008 and the Support Knowledge Base.

Spanish Results No English

And here's the same search after you click the checkbox (to the right side of the search box) to include English results

Spanish Results With English

Remember you can flip back to with one click.

What else?

There are a few other minor improvements:

  • Refinements are now sorted in a more relevant way, so a refinement with only a few matching results (but they are near the top of the search results list) will show up higher in the refinements list too.
  • OpenSearch (the "add MSDN/Technet Search to your browser") link on each results page now works on Firefox too.

Hope you like the changes, and let us know what you think. We just opened a new MSDN/TechNet Search Feedback Forum which is a great place for your feedback.

Thanks again,

the MSDN & TechNet team