It's official - MSN is out of beta testing. It seems like it's been about 100% live for a couple weeks anyway, but now it's official. You won't see much different than you've been seeing with the beta search. The "beta" under the MSN logo is gone now, but the results look the same as they were in the most recent beta version. MSN also launched a redesigned homepage today. The new homepage is supposed to be streamlined and load 50% faster. Looks like they just eased up on the graphics and went with more text. It's still the portal-style site we've grown accustomed to with plenty-o-links. They still pay homage to the minimalist "Google style" at the search homepage: search.msn.com.
Another big change that went live today was the addition of a prominent MSN search box on Microsoft.com. I'm sure that one simple step will give them a nice boost in search volume. I think it's safe to say Microsoft is ready to pull out all the stops in going after a bigger share of the search market. It's great to see. I think competition is good for the business.
The launch was announced on the MSN blog late last night.