Noocyte’s Weblog

February 18, 2008

What’s wrong with Live Search?

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , — noocyte @ 21:39

Lately I’ve tested a few searches on both Google and Live Search, just too see if Microsoft has improved. My conclusion is dead simple: Google is FAR superior to Live Search. No question about it… Let me illustrate it with two examples:

1. I wanted to log into my MSDN Subscriptions page to see what was available to me now. So I do this search using Live:
msdn subscribtion
As is clear to all, I made a typo. Not an uncommon thing for me, or anybody else I guess… But the result from Live Search was the surprise:

Live search

First of all; why the heck am I getting some Turkish and French pages in my result? And why does it not offer a “Did you mean…” option? See the same result on Google:

Google search

So, not only does Google find what I was looking for (search number 1), but Google suggests that I might have been looking for “msdn subscription”; as I indeed was. Why does not Live Search do this? Why?

2. I was looking into buying some HD-DVDs from Amazon, since they are having a fire sale, but I needed to know the exchange rate for USD vs. NOK. So I did this search:
“Convert 20 USD to NOK”

Lets compare the results; Live Search first:

Live search

And then Google:

Google search

Which is better? In my mind there is no question about it. Google gives me the result right up front, whilst with Live I have to click on the XE.com link to get the result. Now, Google might not give me 100% accurate exchange rate, but I don’t care about that. 95% is ok by me. But what really, really bother me is that Live seams to understand that I’m trying to convert USD to NOK, since the XE.com link will actually take me to a page that shows me the conversion, but why isn’t that info on the actual results page? Why?

Seriously, IF Microsoft is serious about getting people to stop using Google and start using Live search they have to fix these kinds of issues. They are keeping me from using Live, that’s for sure.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hey-

    I saw your post linked off of (http://blogs.technet.com/seanearp/archive/2008/09/26/fun-windows-live-search-queries.aspx). The issues you mention above are definitely fixed in the US version of Live, and I think I have a workaround that will give you the Instant Answers in Norwegian. Could you ping me at searp at microsoft dot com to verify before I post the solution more broadly?

    Thanks,

    -Sean

    Comment by Sean — September 30, 2008 @ 16:24


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