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Microsoft unveiled a new search engine this week which many see as a move to capture limelight away from Google. PC Magazine reviewed the new search engine and cited these pros and cons:

  • PROS: New features retrieve answers, not just results; some answers come directly from Encarta online; Search Builder allows ranking by fresh/static, popular/less-popular, exact/approximate match.
  • CONS: Tuned for Internet Explorer, but may not work well with other browsers. Still beta, so many features not complete.
  • BOTTOM LINE: A worthy challenger to Google, especially when all of the new answer-oriented features are fully functional.

For kicks (because this is how I get my kicks) I did a comparison between the two using the quoted search term “science fiction”. Here are the top sites returned by each…

MSN Search Results (Still Beta)

[Note: I’m pretending the annoying, only-slightly-highlighted ads that appear at the top of the page, and which look suspiciously like results, do not exist ]

Google Search Results

[Note: Google also shows ads, but the are thankfully placed in the right margin. Also, I’m ignoring the sub-site hits.]

Of course, Google’s been around a lot longer and people code up there pages to manipulate the googlebots. But still, the algorithms are different too. Google’s results seem, to me, to be more on the mark. At least for my interests and tastes. Then again, MSN showed me the never-before-seen Shakespeare Eclectic Science Fiction Interactive Theatre, a site devoted to “Interactive Drama, Freeform Role Plays, and Live Action Role Playing games” for purposes of education. (Et tu, Heinlein?) I’m sure MSN will yield different results as they get closer to an official release. Time will tell if it offers any serious competition to Google.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.
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