MSN has had a hold on a large Internet audience for a long time. They are a great place to go for news and current events, and they have many great features you can use to communicate, including email and instant messenger. Some don't realize how good their search can be however, and that it is a great tool to use when you want to find a phone number for someone you may have lost touch with, but with which you want to reconnect.
Find the MSN search, and add your friend's name to the general search box in the same manner you would add anything that you wish to look up. See what happens when you hit submit. When you seem to have nothing relevant, look again at the name you have entered to be sure you have entered it correctly. If you have, and the results are overwhelming, you have to think of ways to tell MSN to narrow down what you want.
There are a few things you can use to be sure you have only the results that contain the first and last name together in the resulting text matches. When you just enter the name, you may find the first and last name in the results text, but they may not be indicating one person. For example, when searching for Mary Smith, you may get results listing names like Mary Jones, James Smith, etc. Try adding a plus between the first and last names, or try putting the name in quotes to get rid of those search hits.
When those things don't seem to help, don't give up on MSN just yet. There are other tricks and features that you can use. There are options such as blog, image, news, and even video that may get you something, even if it is just another clue rather than the actual phone number that you seek. You can even go to the option that says “more" to see what you can use there. Try them all if you wish.
Even the best searches don't work when the information is not out there, or you may even get results that are a bit vague. If you get a phone number, but you are not sure it is the right one, you have to get verification if you don't want to blindly dial the number. Find a site that can tell you who owns a number to see if you are on the right track.
Steven Cowen writes informative articles about reverse phone traces, phone number lookups, and privacy. You can find more information at his website http://www.WhoOwnsThisPhoneNumber.com