One Thing That Makes Me Go Hmm…

Lately, Microsoft has been really putting a large amount of its total efforts into the Live initiatives. Some of these I have lauded here, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Desktop Mail – but the main push is something that I don’t see as a major player any time soon. Microsoft wants Live Search to be a major player, and yet somehow the folks in Redmond still don’t get it.

When looking for something that is found on the Microsoft website proper, it seems logical to believe that Microsoft would provide the best, and fastest search for that site.

Such is not now, nor has it been, in recent memory, the case.

An example of this is when I was setting up a computer for the family, using a machine that has been offline for quite some time. I installed Windows XP, went through the effects of Windows Genuine Disadvantage (I had to make the call, as I had changed video card, hard drive, and added 2 PCI add-in cards – had to go through the quiz, and then got the magic codes to make the Windows XP Home legitimate in the eyes of Microsoft).

Next, since I had been doing this as a machine for use by anyone in the family who wishes to use it, I decided to put up a different scheme for each account I created. I remembered that Microsoft has several nice Themes freely available on the website, and I couldn’t seem to find the disk that has the Themes downloaded previously. I went to microsoft.com, put ‘windows xp themes’ in the search box, and came up with one hit. That hit is the ‘Nile’ Theme, nice enough, but not what I was looking for. I know that there is a theme that displays things from the Arctic, yet I cannot remember, at this time, that it is called ‘Nunavut’. I try again to get a decent result using ‘windows xp arctic theme totem poles’ as I remember that totem poles are part of the background included. Still no help, and only the Nile Theme is coming up.

By now, I am getting disgusted with this, much along the lines of my wondering why MS cannot seem to make a working driver for its own OS. I go to Google, and put in ‘windows xp themes’ and get 8 or 9 pages of hits, with ‘Nunavut’ being on the first page, along with many other almost free* themes from Microsoft – all of the ones from Microsoft being on the very first page! No wonder Google is the top internet search site. However, this is not new, before Google was on top, I used both Yahoo and Alta Vista, and sometimes Lycos – all produced better results of things on Microsoft’s website than any revision of the Microsoft search.

To me, this is simply incredible. How are we to take Live Search seriously, when the results of searches on the originating website are effectively dead?

I’m certainly mystified. Hmm…

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*the themes are free, but in order to use most of them, you have to go through the Windows Genuine Disadvantage Process before downloading, and again, when adding the theme to the XP installation – double the time to effect a MS check for piracy  – it’s a good thing most of these are nice themes!

[tags] Windows, Microsoft, Windows XP Themes, Nunavut, search technology, Windows Live Search, Windows Genuine (Dis)Advantage, Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista, Lycos [/tags]