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MSN Search Continues to Fall Short With New and Not So Improved UI

February 17th, 2006 Tony Leave a comment Go to comments

MSN released a new UI for their search engine today. I think it looks a hell of a lot better than the UI we’ve been looking at for a long time now but it still falls way short.
MSN Search
Greg Boser complains about not being able to see the search box but in my version of Firefox it is clearly visible. I totally agree with him about the annoyance of no OnFocus on the search input field. Even worse, when I type a search in the search field and instinctively hit the carriage return key (rather than mousing to click the search button) I don’t get whisked away to the SERP’s. No! I get a stupid javascript dropdown for “web”, “news”, “images”, etc. I guess it depends which version of Firefox you are running because on my home machine, carriage return does result in submitting the form.

Bottom line: I continue to be disappointed in Microsoft search. You would think a company with the budget the size of a small country would do more testing and could be more innovative. A year ago when the first MSN search ads began running in the UK I thought to myself “Now we’re going to see the full blunt force of the Microsoft war chest come down hard on the Google empire”. Now I’m wondering if Microsoft may be so big that they’ll slowly die in the face of smarter, quicker and more innovative competitors.

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  1. February 18th, 2006 at 18:14 | #1

    You would THINK that M$ could afford to do more testing but as we all know M$ doens’t play well with others. I’d wager that things work fine with M$ products, but they could care less about anything else (ie; Firefox, etc).

    Yes I do think that M$ will slowly die in the face of smarter, quicker & innovative companies. I would say “more” innovative, but that would denote some amount of innovation at M$ and there is none.

  2. February 21st, 2006 at 14:31 | #2

    This latest “Brrreeeport” challenge by Scobleizer http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2006/02/13/the-brrreeeport-report/ tried to pit MSN against the others.

    I took it into my own to show just how ridiculously easy it is to outplace anyone on MSN with a good keyword based domain name.

    Brrreeeport.us is #2, second only to the original posting by Scoble himself.

    Technorati’s tracking page, a humble #3