Mike Torres from the MSN Spaces team has a great post that points out those amazing assets of MSN that just don’t get enough attention. I use them at home, but at work I am focused on products that big corporations use. But as a use of MSN products, I am a very loyal customer. Here is the post from Mike’s blog on spaces.msn.com: (so “I” means Mike, not me)
I am an MSN groupie. I will be the first to admit to that. This has been the case for far longer than you may think, considering I have only been at Microsoft for a few years. A buddy of mine, Bill Waters, used to call me Microsoft Bob for kicks because I actually bought Windows 95 (and signed up for my first MSN account) the day it shipped. Of course, I loathed MSN at that point - it was slow, hard to use, and felt like it was just slapped into Windows Explorer without much rhyme or reason. But of course, things have improved over time.
One of my biggest pet peeves as an MSN employee is that I don't feel as if we have done a good enough job over the last few years educating the public on some of our coolness. Things like Photo E-mail, MSN Messenger Audio, or some of the cool rich client interfaces to web data in the MSN Premium client. The first time I used the calendar in MSN Premium and realized that I was actually manipulating data on Hotmail, I was pretty impressed. There isn't much out there like this, yet most people don't even know it exists. Same goes for MSN Radio Plus and MSN Video. Or Outlook Live. Or MSN Newsbot. Or MSN Spaces!
I think all this is going to change in the next few months. MSN Search's new TV commercials are, quite simply, badass. They are the first fun piece of advertising I have seen come out of MSN in a while (I don't consider strange butterfly guys all that entertaining) And now that the search service is alive and kicking, the big marketing push is up next with commercials during the Superbowl, Grammys, and the Oscars - so expect to see a lot of these commercials if you haven't already!
Does the service live up to the hype? You be the judge. I am now running about 75% of my searches on MSN Search and am rarely disappointed. The other 25% are launched from my My Yahoo page (I can't seem to give that thing up after all this time) or because I typed Google.com into the address bar out of habit. Will I ever switch cold turkey? I don't know. But I hope to. Not just because I work on MSN services and would like my friends to succeed, but because I like to use the best products and services out there - and I like them to be integrated with the rest of my experience, both visually as well as functionally. I use MSN Messenger, MSN Spaces, and the Toolbar. I use Hotmail all the time. I would love it if I never had to "go elsewhere" to do the thing that I do 25 times a day. And I know that the only way I can get to using MSN Search 99% of the time is if MSN is providing the best service out there. (Although I am a little sad that I am #2 on Google for "MSN Spaces" but not in the top 10 on MSN Search or Yahoo Search!)
It will be tough, though. Yahoo is coming on really strong in search; it is incredibly impressive how many cool enhancements they have had recently. And they have a great brand that (at least in my mind) screams "the simple Internet". And Google is old faithful for a lot of people. But then again, no one has ever called Microsoft a quitter 🙂
Side note: Scoble and I have also talked about how the MSN Toolbar Suite beta has completely changed our search habits. I am so used to using desktop search ("where is that email from Melinda with a pointer to her Amazon wishlist?") that searching the web using the same tool is almost second-nature. If you haven't tried it out, I definitely recommend giving it a whirl.
Anyway, here are some links for you to learn more about MSN Search. Take it for a test drive. And watch those commercials!
- Learn more about MSN Search
- Send Feedback
- Press Release
- Picture of Bill Gates with the entire MSN Search team
- MSN Newsbot Announcement
- Watch the TV ads!
Some cool queries:
Disclaimer: This post is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.