MSN Search now live

I have been using the MSN Search service in its beta form for several months. To be 100% honest here, I started using it primarily because I work for Microsoft, but I was also very curious to see how the MSN search folks were doing. I know some of the folks working on that team and they are really pushing the Windows platform hard to make this competitive.


It took me a while of switching back and forth between the MSN search beta and Google to prove to myself that I wasn’t wasting time using MSN search.  I wasn’t. Here are my approximate, unscientific results:  about 60% of the time I find what I am looking for on either site on the first page within three searches, about 20% of the time I find it faster on MSN and about 20% of the time I find it faster on Google.  I also use the site tag ( on either search for MSDN specific searches. 

So for now, I am 85% switched to and my theory here is that that they are still just learning how to make search work…so MSN should be better a bit faster rate, right?   I still like the fact that it is easier to type “google” + Ctrl + Enter to get to Google (especially on other peoples machines), but now that the MSN search is the default on the “msn” + Ctrl + Enter… it is a wash.

I use them both a lot and can’t imagine trying to write code without them any more. So I am basically a convert and use most of the time.


So, without meaningless rants, what do you think is good and bad for developers about either MSN or Google search?  What can we ask them do to make our lives better? 

Comments (4)

  1. Congratulations on the launch and my blog is ranked pretty high in MSN search right now for the keyword that I targed. So I am pretty happy with the way you guys have structured the whole thing. But here is some advice

    (1) Watch out for spammers. Google has done a fairly good (not perfect, though) job of keeping spammers, but Yahoo has basically been hijacked by spammers.

    (2) Another major flaw with Google technology is that it waits for a page to get links before it considers it popular enough to show at a high enough level in search results. Till then you see "old" and irrelevant information.

  2. Zeta Blocker says:

    MSN Search is typical of Microsoft’s bad citizenship. You can interpret this as a rant if you like, but…

    Two examples of such bad behavior:

    - MSNBot (the crawler) seems to need to spider the same site ridiculously often, especially where dynamic session ids are used. On one of my sites this has actually exceeded monthly bandwidth allowance!

    - RSS feeds from searches have a stupid licensing policy. Encarta searches have stupid licensing. The whole site is up to its ears in usage restrictions and legal crap.

  3. Michael Carr says:

    For me, it is Google’s ability to search the web and then with one click search the newsgroups that makes it useful from a programming perspective. Until I can do that from MSN Search, I’ll probably stick with Google.

  4. dave says:

    MSN search seems to be coming along however it really needs to provide the ability to search the newgroups (like google). 50% of the time i find answers in the newgroups.