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MSN Search Roundup 371

Thomas Hawk writes "Well after almost 24 hours of public release, The Seattle Post Intelligencer seems to have the best round up on the professional opinions on the new MSN search beta. Bottom line seems to be that nobody is going to be switching over to MSN Search from Google anytime soon. The story includes opinions by Walter Mossberg, John Battelle, The Wall Street Journal and others. "
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MSN Search Roundup

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  • by kalpol ( 714519 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:02PM (#10798226)
    the product bears all the hallmarks of the feisty, upstart side of the company.

    What is he talking about? Microsoft hasn't been a feisty upstart since about 1986.

  • by slashpot ( 11017 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:02PM (#10798229)
    What gets me is the blatant rip off of Google's UI. This coming from Microsoft - the trademark happy lawsuit company.

    • Re:look and feel (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Neil Watson ( 60859 )
      Shocking. Microsoft has never done that before. Seriously, where have you been since Windows 1.0?
    • Every search engine--not web portal--I can remember consisted of a search field surrounded by a couple of options. Alta Vista, Ask Jeeves, HotBot, Google. There's not much difference between any of them. What about the UI exactly do you mean?
      • Re:look and feel (Score:3, Insightful)

        by interiot ( 50685 )

        Each search result on both engines are very very similar:

        • top line: a link to the site, underlined and in blue. While this is the normal default for links, MSN's search is a slightly different shade of blue, so they clearly intended to use the same color of blue.
        • middle section: an excerpt from the page, one or two lines long, black text
        • bottom line: the URL of the link itself, in green. At the end of this line, there's a "Cached" link in a muted color (google's is a lighter shade of blue than the top
    • Blatant rip off (Score:4, Informative)

      by spike2131 ( 468840 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:55PM (#10798901) Homepage
      MSN is a moderate rip-off of Googles UI. If you want a blatant rip off of Google's UI, its at []
    • Re:look and feel (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:06PM (#10799114) Homepage
      While I disagree that Microsoft is a very litigous company (they mostly go after pirates, which I think is a legitimate grievance), I think you might have missed the obvious:

      Microsoft does not innovate. It copies, assimilates, and polishes. Microsoft software is never groundbreaking in any significant way - it just is usually more usable, better integrated, more reputable, and cheaper than the competition. Of course, once they have eliminated the competition, they no longer have anyone to copy.
  • Also on the BBC... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:02PM (#10798230) Homepage Journal
    Test driving 5 search engines []

    BBC conclusion is that Google is still the search king, but others (Yahoo, Ask Jeeves) also offer interesting search results.
    • by EXTomar ( 78739 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:22PM (#10798494)
      First stop when searching is Google. But when I appear to have stumped Google I go over to Jeeves.

      Ask Jeeves is interesting because unlike other search engines which work by assuming you at least have a hunch on what you need, AJ doesn't. The BBC's example is perfect: Searching for "raleigh" could mean the famous historical figure, multiple cities around the world, different buisness and brands, etc. Google is inclined to dump them all onto you and make you sort it out. If Google presents what you need on the first page it might be more by popularity or luck but AJ shows you a bunch of fast ways to filter out results from the huge disparaging set of matches.

      This is a feature I wish Google had. If I get too many matches that appear to not be what I'm looking for I rephrase the querry which AJ does on the fly with these filters.
      • What I find usually works the best is to use a "-" to remove certain terms from a search that could represent multiple things. For instance "raleigh -city" to look for things other than cities named raleigh. I haven't done any formal tests, but I think this method is better than trying to add more keywords to your search, especially if you cannot think of a general way to describe what you are looking for.
    • by rainman_bc ( 735332 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:31PM (#10798581)
      Maybe Google's the search King in terms of Volume, but the quality of the results is turning to shit real fast.

      I find much better results with alltheweb now than Google.

      Google needs to find a way to filter out shit content - content that just takes usenet stuff and posts as html; content that just is a set of hyperlinks to other content and has nothing else to contribute.

      Right now, it's hard to find relevant web content through google because of google-spammers. If google isn't careful, people will start switching away from it, as easily as people switched to it.
  • Gates Logic (Score:5, Funny)

    by mfh ( 56 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:02PM (#10798232) Homepage Journal
    Bill Gates: We will reinvent the wheel. Let's make it rounder.

    Everyone Else: Google is works, without any extra crap, and that's why we like it.

    Bill Gates: Use our new rounder search engine! It is powered by Yahoo, until 2005! Plus we have added lots of special crap! (mostly because so many people asked for it!)

    Everyone Else: Don't you ever learn? We said we didn't want anything but a simple, accurate search engine. We have that already. Do something else.

    Bill Gates: But the first 50-100 results now show the websites that have *paid* to be listed! How can you beat that? If they are going to fork over this extra cash to be listed, they must have really quality websites, right?!

    Everyone Else: Yeah, that makes total sense to us.

    Bill Gates: Plus Google doesn't have neato browser interstitials! They are lacking in the creative marketing department! Seriously!!

    Everyone Else: What excites you, does not excite us.

    Bill Gates: Our search is easier to get to because a link comes with every copy of XP! You know how hard it is to put a link on the desktop or in the Start Menu? We should be given the Nobel Peace Prize, or something.

    Everyone Else: I think we want a search engine that filters out any website or company affiliated with Microsoft.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:14PM (#10798391)
      Walter Mossberg: Very promising, not quite good enough to replace Google

      CNet: Good, won't be put in front-line use for a few months

      John Battelle: Potentially better than Google

      Search Engine Watch: Very promising, not quite good enough to replace Google

      WSJ: Pointless anecdote

      Slashdot: Exprets agreee! Mirco$oft sucks, noone wil use it!
  • I figured they would look at your IP address, check the dns for location and then use that to find near me..

    Didn't work too well.. I'm in Iowa...

    Web Results Near Me (denver, colorado)
    try pizza parlor near:
    1-10 of 931 containing pizza parlor (0.12 seconds)
  • by incuso ( 747340 ) <incuso@g m a i l .com> on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:03PM (#10798240)
    The interface seems pretty clean and usable (maybe sponsored links should be moved), in fact is basically the google interface :)

    Options page is even more googlish

    Unfortunately, too few pages are indicized. My site is used to be in the first page of relevant searches in most search engines, but in msn it does not wshow at all :(


  • it is beta.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by js3 ( 319268 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:04PM (#10798247)
    it has bugs, it is not ready, all that jazz, did I mention it was beta?
    • Re:it is beta.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jxyama ( 821091 )
      the fact it's a beta doesn't mean all bugs can be "excused."

      it should be functional. it should be usable. if it's full of bugs that show up in routine use, then it shouldn't be a beta. it should still be an alpha because beta is testing for bugs, not for core functionality.

    • Re:it is beta.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shotfeel ( 235240 )
      Or is it?

      Personally I view "betas" like this as version 1 release. Companies (MS in this case) just call it a beta so they don't have to support it or deal with bad publicity of releasing a buggy product.

      IMO if you release it to the public, its Version 1.0. "Public beta" is an oxymoron. Either its ready for release, or its not.

  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NaugaHunter ( 639364 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:04PM (#10798248)
    ... nobody is going to be switching over to MSN Search from Google anytime soon.

    Not until the next Service Packs make it the default search engine, anyway.
  • Google forever... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by maharg ( 182366 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:04PM (#10798250) Homepage Journal
    Google is now too deeply embedded into most web users vocabulary to be knocked off the #1 spot. A little bit like M$ on the desktop of your average Joe. In the former case an excellent situation, in the latter, a very sad state of affairs. Swings and roudabouts I suppose.
    • I can't wait till people say their OS is "Google." That would make my day, especially considering all of the things they are doing, and the things they could do to replace M$ software.
    • by maskedbishounen ( 772174 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:29PM (#10798572)
      Kind of like Netscape?

      Yeah. Google will float on top until someone better comes along, or Marketing brings it down.
    • Google is now too deeply embedded into most web users vocabulary to be knocked off the #1 spot

      Kinda like for many americans AOL = Internet?

      Things have a funny way of creeping up on you when you least expect them.

      If Google continues to become more and more useless in the results it brings up, it provides incentive to move to a different search engine.
    • by jxyama ( 821091 )
      the fact google is a verb isn't all that significant. xerox and tivo are two verbs we use but there are many copying machine companies other than xerox and there are many different DVRs other than tivo.

      if MS provides something superior, people will switch. (if they are just "copying" google, then it won't happen.) sadly, the fact they can default 95% of the computer to use msn search means it may not take much of an improvement, at at all to take over.

  • by _PimpDaddy7_ ( 415866 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:04PM (#10798253)
    Search engines are ubiquitous now. Google pretty much owns this domain. Not only that, they are well respected by everyone. Microsoft is not respected by many people. There's no need to switch. There is no value added benefit for someone to switch or use Microsoft's new search.
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:14PM (#10798392)
      They will switch because some future version of IE will have a search bar that goes there, and most users will use whatever is provided for them. Sorry, but that is just the way it goes. The monopoly is simply too strong and the legal system is not fast enough or willing to actually punish them in a meaningful way.
    • by RailGunner ( 554645 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:15PM (#10798403) Journal
      Well they do until Windows XP Service Pack 3, where your IE home page is set to the MSN search, and if you try to type in Google's URL, Clippy comes up and says "I see you're trying to search the web. Would you like assistance in using MSN Search?"

      Or did you not get that memo? :)

  • A few queries will give you a rough idea how useful it is (not).

    You're just imagining this sig is here. It isn't, really.

  • The best part is (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PedanticSpellingTrol ( 746300 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:05PM (#10798272)
    It's already getting either googlewhacked or biased from the inside. Just look at the top two results for searching "More evil than god" (no quotes)
    • is #5 if you search for "more evil than Satan himself".

      However, it doesn't show up if you search for "more evil than Satan and all his little devils".
      Nor does it show up if you search for "more evil than all Satan's little devils".

      If we assume that:
      x = Satan
      y = All of Satan's little devils
      z = Microsoft

      then we can deduce the following based on MS's search results:
      x <= z is true.
      y <= z is true.
      x + y >= z is true.
      x <= z + y is true.

      Thus, if all of Satan's little devils decided to
  • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:05PM (#10798280) Journal
    Noone needs to switch from Google. They just have to keep people from switching to Google.

    MSN is the default homepage for a gajillion browsers out there. It just has to be good enough to keep them from looking for something different.

    Besides, it's still a beta, and TFA says they won't replace much of the core searching until 2005.
  • by Capt_Troy ( 60831 ) <`tfandango' `at' `'> on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:06PM (#10798293) Homepage Journal
    Bottom line seems to be that nobody is going to be switching over to MSN Search from Google anytime soon.

    The bottom line is not quite so overcast as this statement seems to imply. None were negative, but most mentioned that this is beta quality and had the potential to tackle google in the future.
    • Yes, that's exactly what I took out of it as well. I've missed the slashdot slant lately. Glad to see it alive and kicking.
    • In fact, Mossberg's full article [] came complete with its own "bottom line": "The bottom line: Google is still my search service of choice, but Microsoft has arrived in search and will be a more and more attractive alternative."

      I have to ask, Why are we not rejoicing? We now have two competitors trying to add more useful features. They are already driving innovation -- to the benefit of us. And, so long as Google exists, MSN must do no evil, else it will never gain customers.
      • Why are we not rejoicing? We now have two copetitors

        Probably because (right or wrong) many people are thinking "we now have one competitor and one big monopoly looking to extend its reach".

        IOW, we look back on what happened to Netscape and wonder if it will happen again.

  • As we all know Google uses a farm of Linux boxes.
    MSN can't do that. The NY Times says they built their own hardware for it. A Windows farm! - yuck.
    • You don't know how wrong you are. There are certain storage vendors who know just how much Microsoft *depends* heavily on Linux server farms. (MSN is such a hypocritical joke.)
    • As we all know Google uses a farm of Linux boxes. MSN can't do that. The NY Times says they built their own hardware for it. A Windows farm! - yuck.

      Some MSN sites are driven by Soliaris, like for example. I wouldn't be so sure...
  • by fishmonkey ( 301785 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:08PM (#10798308) Journal
    search for

    "more evil than satan"

    on []
  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:09PM (#10798325) Homepage Journal
    Several readers pointed out that xfree86 isn't blocked by the beta MSN search engine, as it was earlier...well I think it still is.

    The difference is that the defalts "Safesearch" settings []are set to "Moderate - Filter sexually explicit images only">. I changed it to "Strict - Filter sexually explicit text and image results">, I got this message for xfree86 []

    The search xfree86 may return sexually explicit content.
    We didn't return results because your SafeSearch setting is set to Strict. To get results using the current search, change your SafeSearch setting.

  • by mfh ( 56 )
    I have coded a test search using the beta. Check it out [].
  • The real reason MSN will not be used is this:

    The url for Google is

    The url for MSN Search is

    That's way too many letters to type for most people.

  • Searching the same keywords in both Google and MSN search turns up almost exactly the same results in the same order, and seeing that Google was here first...

    I think Microsoft just took a subscription on the Google WebService API :)


    "How many NT admins does it take to keep up MSN search? 100.000"

    • I must disagree. I just attempted 10 searches and had differing search results in both engines, so they do not produce 'almost exactly the same results in the same order'. Maybe the search(es) you tried were blatantly obvious ones which have a lot of reinforcing data behind to produce those similiar result sets? If the engines used a similiar algorithm, then its quite possible they would produce the same results with the same data.
  • I searched for "Linux". MSN gave me as the first link. Same as google. Fair enough. However the next few results that followed ( weren't nearly as useful as google's (lists all the major distros, and - i.e., places where you can actually *get* Linux). MSN may get better after a while, but google still reigns for now.
    • MSN may get better after a while, but google still reigns for now.

      Wow. That was a comprehensive test. Type in one seach, and decide from that. That's like saying that Linux sucks because Slackware didn't find my sound card. Besides, you didn't even compare against Google's special Linux search [].
  • Strange Results (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TedTschopp ( 244839 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:12PM (#10798361) Homepage

    Here is something strange: Search for Tolkien [] (a search that is close to my heart).

    Why is this [] result coming up as second?

    I can't figure that one out, any ideas. Other than Its Broke

  • Google (non-evil) only puts ads on the right but MSN search also has them at the top of the results. Very misleading.
    • Google puts ads at the top of the results page. But they have a different color background, very easy to differentiate. I've got my eyes trained to mostly ignore them - same for banner/skyscraper ads, although that's harder if they're animated.

  • Once again... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 )
    Once again Microsoft is just ripping-off someone elses product or idea and just remarketing it.

    Its just the next in a long line of products they've just stolen, including Windows, Office, IE, C#, .net etc.

    Why don't they actually INNOVATE and create something from a new idea for once?

    what will we see next? A trading website called

    • And Google was different from Altavista, Lycos, Webcrawler, Hotbot, and the others how...? It isn't. It's the exact same thing, only better. That's what MS does. They tend to take an idea, make it better (easier, etc.), and market it better.
  • by vrioux ( 723563 )
    I am sick of this... Who needs a new search engine? Nobody! The web is so crammed with porn and crap that NO search engine can be "revolutionary". You only get more paid-for ads, or more intelligent ads-rotation... I will NOT use MSN's search, just because I am TIRED of searches... Google won that "war" long ago. Their interface is simple, their name is simple. Now, I got used to it, and if you offer me the same thing, with a different name, I just won't switch. MS, what about REAL innovation inste
    • Altavista had won that war one upon a time, Yahoo had one that war too at one point. Altavista and Yahoo also eventually lost their wars : right about the point they thought no one else could keep up and they stopped innovating.

      If MS trying to get back into the search business only serves to push Goggle to continue to innovate, we should thank them for that. Or if they come out with a better product, hey, shouldn't we thank them for that too? If all of these company shared your "Who needs another search en
      • by MushMouth ( 5650 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @04:30PM (#10801665) Homepage
        Google hasn't innovated shit beyond page rank and throwing a lot of machines at a problem

        What do they have?

        Froogle, copy of JungleE

        news, standard search on a subset of sites

        groups, dejanews, bought in a firesale

        toolbar, just another spyware toolbar

        cache, less useful Internet Archive

        gmail, it is just e-mail, that goes down at least as much for me as hotmail ever did.

        The truth is, for all their thousands of millionaire PhD's they haven't done very much truely innovative. The other thing that is scary for google stockholders is that Microsoft only spent $100 million, to be almost google, what do you think they could do for a $billion?

  • by codepunk ( 167897 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:13PM (#10798386)
    All you have to do is integrate it into the operating system and poof google goes away!
  • I'm from Canada. The use of the near button does not work. Tried pizza, movie, etc. - Reply? - We couldn't find any sites containing movie.
  • by museumpeace ( 735109 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:15PM (#10798409) Journal
    it will cost you a cookie but Webb's Filter is good at rounding up media reactions:
    In her usual thorough fashion Cynthia Webb of the Washington Post has summarized the punditry concerning the impact Microsoft's pending search service will have on Google's business []. Most of the analysis says MS has a weak product and miles to go to overtake Google...but thats the position they were in vs Netscape once upon a time. The /. story on pondering addition of search tools to its arsenal [] should be considered in light of [and sheds a different light on ] development of Microsoft's plans.
  • Keeping in mind the past history of Microsoft products when stacked up against competitors...

    Was MS Windows 1.0 better than an X-capable terminal? Or a similar GUI of that era?

    I'll be interested to see how Microsoft's search offering stacks up against its competitors in twenty or more years down the road.

    My point being that Microsoft's successes have come from the years of refining its products in a monopolistic environment, not from the initial offering. How will this product do when bundled with Longho
  • -Who would leave Google if it works? Their only hope is to integrate it into IE after the next update. -They seem to lack highlighted cache pages so far. Most of my computer illiterate friends -Is this cost effective for them? Google is built on farms of cheap computers running Linux. I would bet that Google's research team (linguists, comp scientists, et al) is a more expensive investment than their hardware. -Google's speed is unmatched and Google will always work to make their's faster than competitio
  • Holy Crap (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:17PM (#10798424) Homepage Journal
    From the WSJ:

    "[T]he hype around Google's offering clearly grated on Mr. Gates. Days after the filing he sat in his office and railed at what he saw as flattering press coverage of the company. 'You're not allowed to criticize and say that Google isn't solving all the world's problems,' Mr. Gates said in an interview."

    Holy crap. There must be something seriously twisted about this guy, if his reaction to the fact that somebody else being successful and admired is rage.
  • paperclip (Score:5, Funny)

    by alatesystems ( 51331 ) <chris AT chrisbenard DOT net> on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:18PM (#10798436) Homepage Journal
    It looks like you're searching for porn. Would you like help?
    *blink* *blink*
    • *blink*
      It looks like you're searching for porn.
      Would you like help?
      [ ] Yes.
      [ ] No.
      [ ] No, but turn on one-handed browsing.

  • Shennanigans on Microsoft?

    more evil than satan

    #1 Google

    more evil than god

    #2 firefox
    #3 google
  • Here is a neat feature [] of the engine. You can report inappropriate material to MS people who will, I am guessing, remove it from the index?

    So at least we know this won't last as a porn search engine, but what is much worse is that it won't be an accurate imprint of what is actually out there. We need to have the ability to find anything with the option to filter out crap.
  • Otherwise I might have accidentally switched to That was so going to happen.

    yahoo for up-to-date images. A9 for searching in books. Google for the web.


    Have any search engines fixed it so that you can type in a product name (like a particular digital camera) and not get a billion crappy web store spam entries? That's the main thing Google doesn't work for.
  • The Reg (Score:5, Interesting)

    by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:21PM (#10798489) Homepage Journal
    There's a small review [] at The Register. His impression is better query features, bad results.

    But much more interesting is his commentary on what all search engines are missing. Most of the "data" people want to find isn't on any computer network. It's in our social network, our minds. So how do we get the technology to adapt to society? Or do we force society to adapt to the technology.

    The "search engine wars" might be a little interesting. But are they missing the big picture? From a non-technical person's perspective they might be.
  • by mfh ( 56 )
    I tried something because John Battelle said MS was going to answer questions faster. Looks like they honestly want to try to do that, judging from this search. []
  • Many of you have heard or noticed the way in which the msn bot is pounding and raping away sites as of lately. The thing is behaving like a drunk man knocking on random apartment doors over and over again. Here is some sample data from my personal site..

    2004-11-09 15:17:56 sync.X-1.0.tar.gz
    2004-11-09 14:25:37 permit-1.0.tar.gz
    2004-11-09 10:32:15 cdp-1.0.tar.gz
    2004-11-09 06:25:07 sync.X-1.0.tar.gz
    2004-11-09 06:19:18 permit-1.0.ta
  • I am an advertiser on google ($2500 / month) and Overture ($600 / month) and when I typed my search into MSN's beta search my ads came up as "sponsored links." I have no idea from where I am paying for them through. Anybody have any ideas? Are they overture links?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 12, 2004 @12:55PM (#10798908)
    When I worked for IBM (namedrop) in 95-96, I stood up at a conference and said to the CEO in front of 1000 dyed-in-the-wool delegates "There is a buzz about Windows, and ALL the students are using it. Today's students are tomorrow's CIOs, engineers and buyers. What is the board going to do to recapture that buzz for OS2*". To IBM's credit I wasn't fired on the spot, but there again, the answer was the usual deadwood remarks about "market need blah datacenter blergh blah".
    IBM then went into a dark period with OS2, OS400, MVS, TSO, JSL, CICS, MQ, DB2, Websphere, PC, AIX etc etc etc. They became all things to all people and had an application to do anything you wanted. The sales guys treated the customers like cash cows and leveraged the datacenter iron like crazy. Customers hated it and you physically could see the pleasure on their faces when UNIX and PCs arrived so they could stick one on IBM.
    Sound familiar?
    Today there is a buzz about OSS that MS can only dream about. But more to the point, MS are falling into the same trap as IBM. They are trying to diversify into areas best left alone for example Handsets and Search Engines. They do both badly, they leverage their installed base like crazy and the sales guys treat their customers like cash cows (coincidence? not really. There is every chance it's the same sales guys).
    The reason such mega-companies act like spoilt two-year olds is a result of how capitalism works. Investors always want growth. It is unacceptable to stand in front of the AGM and say: "We made 100 gazillion again last year. Same as the year before and the year before that". So if you already own 98% of the PCs then you can't go up - you have to go sideways into new revenue earners, eg search engines. And you will never, EVER be as good at that because its a market or a technology or a customer or a partner or a culture you do not understand. Mistakes are made. Things go wrong. People get sued. Then you start to die. Its a bit like bacteria in a flask. Ironically anyone with a pension scheme will have some money invested however indirectly in this process. I smile every day knowing I am doing my bit to eat away Microsoft from the inside just as my serial installations of Linux of friends systems eats them from without.
    I digress.
    Add to this death spiral Bill's insane need to WIN AT ALL COSTS and you have the recipe for a firm that is at odds with itself: It has to grow but can only do so by changing but it can't change because it always has to be RIGHT. When it is more important to be RIGHT than to be ACCEPTABLE then it's only a matter of time until you have no customers.

    *I didnt come across Linux until a month or two later after which I became a Linux advocate.

  • by __aavljf5849 ( 636069 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:00PM (#10799002)
    The reason nobody can win against Google is that Googles results are almost as good as they can be. That's why it only took me a couple of test searches to switch to Google. (Can you remember the time before Google? I *think* I was using Altavista, but it's all a blur of vague memories of never finding anything, so I'm not sure...)

    They only time Google doesn't come up with relevant search results is when I'm forced to use so generic words that I get a wide spread of hits. No traditional keyword based search engine can beat that.

    The next search engine people will switch to is the one that can help you focus in on a more specific topic or type of information, without using specific keywords and without using keyword searching. I have seen some experimental search engines that will group pages depending on what they are about and then let you do subsearches withing a selected group. This technology is still too raw to be useful, and it is still based on keywords in the pages and links, but someday somebody will have an idea as bright as Google, adn searching will leap to the next level.

    I'm not betting on that it will be Microsoft. Actually, the company most likely to do such a thing is Google themselves. They still haven't lost the inventive touch, as Gmails user interface shows.
  • But... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by skinfitz ( 564041 ) on Friday November 12, 2004 @01:09PM (#10799182) Journal
    Bottom line seems to be that nobody is going to be switching over to MSN Search from Google anytime soon.

    Wait until it's built into Longwait.

The absent ones are always at fault.