Another useless Microsoft search experience

I do not make posts like this just to needle Microsoft. I’d like to see it compete better with Google, not because I have anything against Google, but because competition is good. So I’m explaining why I can’t use Microsoft’s search product as currently implemented, in the hope that it will help to improve it.

I am aware that the Windows 7 beta SDK is now available, and wanted to download it. I tried the search on Microsoft’s site:

Top hit is from November 2007 and is a forum discussion of dxtrans.h. Correct result nowhere to be seen.

So I tried Live Search:

I get ads for double-glazing and a top hit for the QuickTime 7.3 SDK from Apple. Correct result nowhere to be seen.

So I tried Google:

Top hit is relevant but wrong. Second hit is a blog post which has the URL I’m looking for, not bad. Fourth hit is the exact URL. By the way, the Windows 7 SDK beta is here.

It is no use Microsoft doing search bundling deals with Dell. If it cannot fix the product, users will run back to Google.

Incidentally, I believe US searchers get better results from Live Search than I do, because of faulty regionalisation. Live Search seems to have a heavier bias than Google towards what it thinks are (in my case) UK results. That doesn’t explain why it gives an Apple QuickTime site as its top hit for “Windows 7 SDK”.

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