MSN’s live.com



MSN’s search engine at live.com detects the HTTP header, “Accept-Language”, and then sets, via a Cookie, your “market”. Currently, there are three Chinese options zh-cn (China), zh-hk (Hong Kong) and zh-tw (Taiwan). Your “market” will be set depending on which one of these your browser sends to the server. If your browser send the more generic “zh” without specifying a region, live.com will default to zh-cn.

Unlike Google which uses geolocation by IP address (e.g. if your IP adddress is allocated to Canada you’ll be directed to www.google.ca) to redirect you to your localized Google (with the exception of China in which case you are redirected to the Chinese-language version of google.com), if your default setting is Chinese Simplified but you are not in China you will also be redirected to the zh-cn version of live.com. This is significant because the zh-cn version of live.com is the censored version for China. This means that people outside of China whose browsers are set to Chinese Simplified will receive, by default, the censored version of the live.com search engine.

You can, of course, go to the settings page and manually specify your market.

Still, this appears to be a problem because the English version of live.com seems to do a very poor job of indexing Chinese sites. I am not a Chinese speaker, so I would appreciate feedback on this. Also, are the HK and TW versions compatible (give the simplified vs. traditional and so forth)? Is it sufficient to expect Chinese simplified users to use the HK or TW versions of live.com?

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