Let’s acknowledge the ugly facts first – Microsoft’s Live search engine is a piece of shit. Utter garbage.
So it hardly comes as a surprise that even Microsoft employees (a.k.a. Microserfs) don’t use this junk search engine.
As Google gets better and extends its search hegemony, Microsoft’s trashy search engine continues to lose ground.
Look at the below numbers put out by Nielsen Online the other day. They tell a sad story for Microsoft.
Google’s growth (27.6%) was way higher than the year-over-year growth for all searches (16.7%). Microsoft’s year-over-year growth was a mere 0.3%, way lower than the growth of all searches.
Over the last decade or so, Microsoft has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into its search sinkhole but has little to show for it.
Microsoft is now said to be working on a new version of its search engine code-named Kumo but given the company’s pitiful track record in the search domain, we are not optimstic that it’ll be any good or that Google faces any threat to its hegemony.
We don’t know anyone who uses Live search.
Folks, do you know anyone using Live? Bet you don’t either.
As we wrote 18 months ago, the history of Microsoftâ€™s Internet initiatives is littered with the carcases of failures – online advertising, MSN Internet access, CarPoint, MSFDC bill presentment and payment service, LinkExchange Banner Network, HomeAdvisor home buying service, Passport Express Purchase online shopping service, Electronic Wallet, MoneyCentral and more.
Actually Live for Windows Mobile phones is pretty cool – much better than the other searches I have used on mobiles.
We’ve not tested Live for Windows Mobile phones because our two phones are Apple and Palm (running Palm OS).
We just tried a Live search manually on the iPhone. Couldn’t open the first two Live results when we clicked on them. The error message we got was “Cannot Open Pop-up.” Tried the same with the Google search for iPhone…Worked fine. Go figure.
Also, if the underlying algorithm and database are same for desktop and mobile, how would the results differ (assuming the algorithm and database are the same) between Live on desktop and Live on mobile?
To answer your question about the underlying algorithm and database, the results wouldn’t differ.
However, Live Search on Windows Mobile is an application that you would install, just like you install Google Maps as an application on a phone (for the iPhone it is pre-installed, for other smart phones you have to install it). This app gives preference to local results and works pretty much like the additional features you get on a GPS, in the sense that it gives you gas prices, places to eat etc. The location is obviously determined based on the nearest tower. The current version of Google Maps for the phone also does this, but maps are inherently more data intensive than simple search results.
Given our unsatisfactory desktop experience with Live and with Windows, guess we’ll stick to Apple and Palm for our cell phones. Plus, given the near ubiquity of 3G, even if maps are data intensive, it shouldn’t be an issue.
What is Live Search!?? 😉