I've recently fallen in love with the new search features on Live.com, otherwise known as Windows Live Search. To-date I've been using MSN Search as my default search provider, and I even blogged about how I think it ranks better than Google's search for relevance and presentation of information. But Live.com takes the great MSN Search engine and makes it even better by putting an amazing presentation front-end on it.

My favorite feature is the image search with Live.com. Now instead of clicking through page after page of images I can just get the entire image search result set in a single frame. This frame contains thumbnails of all of the images in that result set. I can quickly browse this page and just hover over an individual thumbnail to get more informaton and a zoomed in view of that image. Cool!

Once I click on the source URL for an image I still have the option of using the left nav to browse the other thumbnails until I find the source page I'm looking for.

You can also change the size of the thumbnails by using the Vista-style slider bar near the top of the page. Sweet!

And I've just scratched the surface - check it out for yourself. What's your favorite feature of Live.com? What could they do better? What's your favorite search engine?

If you like Live.com, here's how you can make it the default search provider in your browser of choice:

In IE7:
Use the "Search Autodiscovery" feature.
1. Visit www.live.com.
2. Click the orange dropdown arrow at the top right of the window next to the search box.
3. Click "Add Search provider"

In FireFox:
1. Click here to visit the Mycroft Project.
2. Search for "Live.com" in the Site Name box.
3. You should get a link for Windows Live - click this link.

Now when you use the Search box in your browser's toolbar your results will be displayed using Windows Live Search. I hope you like it as much as I do!