I stated using Google proper (www.google.com) since it was faster (and still is) to type in DataReader.Read() into Google and get to the MSDN page than search MSDN itself. This was back in about 2000 when Google released the www.google.com/microsoft.html page that indexes all the Microsoft specific sites (including blogs and 3rd party sites besides MSDN content).
I installed the Google toolbar as well as the Yahoo, A9 and MSN toolbars and played with them the best I could, but I always came back to Google. Until after its IPO, it removed the “search Microsoft” from its drop down list and I had to bookmark www.google.com/microsoft.html.
I was very excited about Google Desktop and installed it right away. I was marginally impressed. I did not like the web interface-why bother with creating a web server on the user’s machine, if you are going to install custom software why not something easier to manage? That said I started to use it anyway. After some time of using it I came to notice that all I was really concerned with was email and attachments in email, so on the advice of Adam Cogan (gulp) I installed Lookout (which Microsoft has since purchased) and used that extensively-as it is better than Google Desktop for email searches and it integrated into Outlook, I even uninstalled Google Desktop from machine.
So when Microsoft yesterday announced the new MSN toolbar that also performed Desktop Search I was not immediately excited. Like the curious cat that I am, I installed it anyway.
I was surprised! MSN Toolbar/Desktop Search is a far superior product than Google Desktop (and Lookout). Here is why:
The toolbars have the same functionality but Google took about 3 days to archive and MSN about an hour.
MSN search has English Questions Ask it: “What is the capital of the Netherlands” and Encarta will come up along with the answer as well as web links below it. Google just has links.
MSN has superior local search, but Google is catching up fast.
**Google does have that super cool autcomplete in beta and announced today that it was scanning in textbooks and university libraries.
True Google has Newsgroup archives, but I rarely ever use that-old Newsgroups are not as interesting to me as current ones which now MSN can do via indexing Outlook Express (you have to subscribe to them first though)
Using MSN Toolbar on the desktop is great. I usually don’t have this sort of reaction to software. It has autocomplete and immediate feedback as you type. I typed in “Clem” and it knew I was searching for Clemens Vasters.
It is super smart and real fast. It even indexes data better than Google. It even picked up an XML file of some old sample data from a Conference-Google Desktop did not.
It is still in beta and not perfect (why not index .CS files???), but I am already using it as my main search for the web and desktop. I had been hard code Google user for 4 years-it has not come to an end.
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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent
my employer's view in anyway.