Google, Live Search and God

Thanks to Mr Clayton for forwarding this one on.  Made me chuckle :-)

I'm sure some people out there would say that Google can help you to find pretty much anything, and to be fair, in my Pre-Microsoft days, I did use Google, as MSN at the time just didn't cut it.

Now however, although figures would suggest otherwise, I'd say Live Search is really starting to do the business in terms of Search.  It is my primary search engine - yes, I admit, to start with it was because I worked for Microsoft, but now, I'm happy with the results it returns and rarely do I have to go on to a second or third search results page.  I will use Google from time to time, (usually when I'm searching for something really obscure!) but, it is just from time to time.

I think the real power of Google does lie in the brand - for a lot of people, Google = Search, and Search = Google, whereas at present, that is something that 'Live', as a brand, doesn't have.  Those of us in the industry do have a lot of respect for Google, and are aware of many of the other offerings they have, such as Picasa, Google Docs, Checkout etc.  As the 'Live' brand builds momentum, I think people will start to become a little confused with all the different software offerings, but, eventually, I think 'Live' will come out smelling of roses.  Microsoft wouldn't let it go any other way.  They really do believe in Live as a platform, so it will be interesting to see how it develops over the coming months.

So, anyway, Live Search has got a lot to offer - I use it day to day, and it certainly meets my needs, however, one area of search that I would say really has the edge on Google is the image search.  If you haven't used the image search in Live yet, I'd definitely give it a try, as there are a couple of fantastic ways it presents the results.

Firstly, when you search for the image, the results are presented in an infinite scrolling window - no more navigating through pages!  The results will just scroll and scroll for ever (as long as there is results!).  You've also got a number of easy to use tools:

image

Such as the zoom tool, which enables you to move the slider and adjust the size of the images on the screen, and you can also filter the results by actual image size.  You can also create, within the actual webpage, a Scratchpad, where you can simply drag and drop images from your results, into, and store for later, while you scroll through the rest of the results.  Easy!

Perhaps the coolest bit however, is when you do click on an image, and you are taken to that image within the page that it's found.  With other search engines, it's a back-button click to get back to your search results.  With Live Image Search, your results are still present in a scrollable side column, and you still have access to your Scratchpad you created earlier.

Screenshot

So, why don't you. just for a day, give Live Search a try, and see what you think.  I'd be interested to hear your comments, especially what you think of the image search functionality.

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