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 (site:msdn.microsoft.com) on either search for MSDN specific searches.
So for now, I am 85% switched to search.msn.com 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 http://search.msn.com 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?