Microsoft's race to search

As much as Microsoft would like to tout itself as an innovator, its history is largely a legacy of imitation. That is not in any way a negative trait. Most products in use today are imitations of the originals with incremental improvements. and the search technology seems to have caught Microsoft's fancy as of late.

Microsoft's latest push in the search field is clearly an imitation of what Google has been able to achieve. But in this case, the product is just too similar to Google's offering. Take the new and improved MSN search. The pages are clean, the ads are text-based, and the results are presented in almost the same format as Google does. Then there is the IE toolbar plug-in. It's a copy of google's toolbar with the highlight tool, form auto-fill, and Blog posting. And the MSN Deskbar, again the same striking similarity to Google's Deskbar down to the logo watermark in the search field.

I downloaded the products (the toolbar and deskbar are lumped in one install) and used them for a while. They work fine, but I just can't see a compelling reason to leave Google at this time. Perhaps, given some time, Microsoft will be able to improve these products drastically and surpass Google, but for now I just hope the hard competition continues to deliver better products to the consumer. The race is just heating up.

Microsoft's search-related products can be downloaded here.

Google's offerings are here and here.

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yes, yes, looks good

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This page contains a single entry by published on February 4, 2005 9:45 AM.

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