03 April, 2003

Good Luck With All That

Microsoft has decided to take aim at Google.

"We do view Google more and more as a competitor. We believe that we can provide consumers with a better product and a better user experience. That's something that we're actively looking at doing," Bob Visse, director of marketing for Microsoft's MSN Internet services division, said. [Emphasis added]

Hmm, let me think. I had a response to that, but it has temporarily slipped my mind.

Oh yeah, I remember now: HA!

My problems with this:

  • MS doesn't need to be a part of every segment of the computer industry. Give it a rest, guys. Let other people do their thing. Are you not making enough money?
  • Google does an absolutely amazing job at indexing the web. People aren't that far off when they say "if you can't find it on Google, you can't find it anywhere."
  • Try as you might, you can't really improve the user experience that Google offers. You know why? Because you, Microsoft, will attempt to "enhance" it. You're going to add all kinds of useless, bullshit features to a simple search engine.

Look at Google's homepage. What do you see? A simple logo (that occasionally changes), a few links, and a search box. That's it. That, in a nutshell, is what I love about Google. After years and years of using Google, I have not become dissatisfied with their user interface. They haven't tried to extend it, adding flashing lights, advertising and customization. It's just simple. It gets me what I want.

Now look at Microsoft's homepage. That is the sort of thing we'll have to look forward to in a Microsoft search engine. No, wait, scratch that. Look at the MSN homepage. That is probably a more accurate depiction. It's busy. It's full of crap. Most of the items on the page mean about as much to me as a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys.

When Google enhances their site, they actually enhance the service they offer. They don't add an extra, snazzy module you don't want. They add something useful, like the ability to search for images, find PDFs, translate a page, read usenet, find all of your news, and search for the lowest price from online retailers. And no matter what they add, it's still the same, simple Google. Easy to use, and easy to find what you want.

That is the sort of thing Microsoft will never be able to do. No matter how much they blather on about enhancing the user experience, it's always going to be bloated and useless crap. And the stream-lined Googles of the world will always be a better choice.

1 comment:

  1. Oh sure, MSN loads fast... I only have a DS-3 at the office, and it only took 30 seconds to load the last image of that page. Whew! The future is bright.