November 20, 2006
Search Tip: Live.com
With the release of Windows Vista just around the corner, and as someone that had a chance to get in the beta program, I was able to mess around with Internet Explorer 7 (a live update that somehow has still not found my XP install). There really isn't much to say about it - I'm sure it's better than IE 6, but I use Firefox, so the point is moot - but I was extremely interested in the default homepage that the browser directed me to -
As far as I know, Microsoft had a search engine similar to this in the past under the name MSN. I'm not entirely sure if it was more yahoo-esque (homepage and portal) or google-esque (minimalist search/advertising), but I do know that I never used it. With Live.com, it seems that Microsoft is taking a page out of google's book while adding a few interesting things of its own.
Most notable is the fact that you can customize the homepage with whatever content you'd like to see. It is nice, because it offers a happy medium between google's sparse layout and yahoo's incredible clutter. In fact, even with all five default subjects (including sports, news, basics, entertainment, and holiday) checked, the homepage does not become unusable at all, which is nice.
Another big addition is the "Q&A" section, which is basically what it sounds like. Instead of asking Jeeves (you could, theoretically, ask what happened to Jeeves), you can ask other internet users if they know the answer to your question.
I love the concept - though you have to question whether or not internet users are going to be entirely helpful. The other small problem seems to be a lack of knowledge on the service, as even a simple question (I asked "Who is Martin Havlat?" - the best player on my favorite NHL team and former employer, the Chicago Blackhawks) and the first result that came up was titled "Who is the best player in the NHL") was not answered 100% to my satisfaction.
Again, it shows a lot of promise, and Live on the whole is a major step up from what MSN was (probably) because I never (at all) found any reason to use it, whereas Live is an interesting alternative to google.
Posted by moday at November 20, 2006 10:37 PM