Microsoft has officially unveiled its enhanced search service, dubbed "Bing", but concedes it is unlikely to make any significant gains on rivals Google and Yahoo in the short term.
Chief executive Steve Ballmer told an industry conference that he did not expect Live Search's successor to grow Microsoft's share of the search market quickly, according to the Financial Times.
"My time frame is lots of years. There's no way to change the game in one step," he said.
According to Ballmer, Bing is Microsoft's first step in a long-term effort to enable users to find information they can use to accomplish tasks and make decisions.
When Bing is launched worldwide next week it will finally give Microsoft the ability to return search results that are as relevant as those of its nearest rivals, according to analysts.
Unlike Live Search, Bing will sort search results into categories, said Microsoft, and includes partnerships with shopping, travel, health and business sites.
But Bing is still under development, according to Microsoft, with the full version scheduled to be completed only within the next year.
There was no announcement of a search deal with Yahoo, despite industry expectations.
Speculation of a deal was fuelled by Microsoft's recent registration of a limited liability company in Delaware and Yahoo chief Carol Bartz's indications earlier this week that talks were still open.