I like Google, and I like it at lot. I’ve used it from before it became the standard for searching for stuff. As each new feature came along, I stuck right in and loved it even more. From doing unit conversions (you guys and your non-metric system) to tracking packages quickly without having to log into FedEx, Google was my search engine of choice and my default web page.
But I have to say that I’m probably going to only use it 50% of the time now, and I’m going to use MSN Search the rest of the time. Why? Company loyalty? Well, it depends who is reading this, but let’s say “sure”, and I won’t mention my iPods and iMac.
I’m going to use MSN Search because it found stuff that Google didn’t. It found me Pinkie Pie, the remaining My Little Pony that my daughter needs to complete her collection. Pinkie Pie, perhaps not the most manly of My Little Ponies, and perhaps not what a 37 year old man normally spends his time looking for on the internet, but nevertheless, Pinkie Pie. And not only did it find it, but it found it for $5 instead of the $20 that all the Pinkie Pie hoarders are asking for (it’s become rare, don’t ask me why, my knowledge of My Little Pony is limited – although I (ok, MSN Search) did find a great site called Dream Valley if you are into that kind of thing.)
The other thing that MSN Search does that Google doesn’t do is plug into Encarta. Searching for “Northern Ireland” for example brought up a terrific article with media clips and so on. That’s a wealth of encyclopedic information there. Impressive.
So, I guess my point is that in the current storm of whether Microsoft employees should use iPods or not, one thing is clear – if you make a better product, you will naturally get people using it. And if people aren’t using your product, and even your own employees, then you really need to take a good look at what you aren’t doing right. And fix it.
On another note entirely, this is the end of my last week in the C# UE team. I’ve worked with the C++ and C# UE teams since I joined Microsoft (and came to the US) over five years ago. Next week I start work in the Mobile Devices team as a Content Specialist. I’ve had a great time in the C#/C++ and will miss working with them – but I’m looking forward to getting to know my new team. I hope they can understand my accent: it took this team about a year 😉